FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Wednesday, July 6. 2022
Contact: Lorri Pickens, Lorri@citizensagainstgambling.com; 920-659-4489
Bristol Village Board’s Lack of Transparency Leaves Local Residents in Dark
Details on Public Land for a Kenosha Casino Leave Unanswered Questions
Bristol, Wis. – The Bristol Village Board of Trustees and the Bristol Community Development Authority (CDA) rushed to throw together a last minute, special closed session meeting to discuss a real estate proposal from the Florida Seminole Tribe/Hard Rock Café & Casino which has been intentionally disguised as the Kenosha LandCo, LLC. Information received from an open records request shows that the offer wasn’t received until June 9, the special meeting was confirmed on June 10 for June 13 and wasn’t noted on the online Village calendar where such events are noted for the public. It’s not clear when or how the board provided public notice, but this information has been requested via an open records request submitted last week by Citizens Against Expanded Gambling.
Two of the Village Board members, Mike Farrell (Board President) and John McCabe (Trustee) who also serve on the Bristol CDA board, deny any knowledge that this option to purchase nearly 60 acres of land (owned by the Village but located in the city of Kenosha) will be used as the site for the Florida Tribe’s resurrected casino proposal. The Department of Financial Institutions corporate records search shows the principal office of Kenosha LandCo, LLC as same address for the Seminole Hard Rock Support Services.
The description in the CDA and Village Board meeting minutes to accept the offer to “purchase” 59.19 acres of land for $15 million is very misleading. The letter the CDA signed is not for the purchase of the property. Rather, it is for an option to purchase. The offer does not obligate the Seminole’s LLC to purchase at that price. If accepted by the village board at an upcoming meeting, the Seminole just locked up the land for up to two years with no obligation to purchase. These are very favorable terms for the Seminole.
“I’m not sure which is worse, not doing due diligence on a prospective buyer before locking up prime I-94 real estate for two years in exchange for only $100,000 with less than favorable terms, or not being honest about who you’re doing business with,” said Lorri Pickens with Citizens Against Expanded Gambling. “Either way, the Bristol Village Board is failing their No. 1 priority as trustees: protect the best interests of Bristol citizens.
Citizens Against Expanded Gambling has been doing what we can through emails, robo calls, text messages, social media ads, and this community alert mail piece that will hit all Bristol Village residents’ USPS mail boxes this Saturday in an effort to provide the adequate public notice that Village residents deserve.”
Board Village Administrator Randy Kerkman told CAEG shortly before the June 27th board meeting that it typically takes up to 30 days to finalize the sales agreement before the board can take the final vote. This matter could potentially appear on the July 11 or July 25 Bristol Village Board meeting. Agenda and notices only require a 24-hour notice, so residents won’t know what will be on the agenda until the Friday before the Monday meeting.