Five La Plata County projects have received gaming-impact grants totalling more than $450,000. That brings the total granted to groups in the county to more than $3.6 million since 2005.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs is committed to assisting local communities that have seen dramatic impacts caused by gaming, said Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the department. The impact of gaming on local law enforcement, health-care systems and roads is clear.
The grants, totalling $453,298, were awarded to the La Plata County Sheriffs Public Safety Services, the 6th Judicial District Attorneys Office, the town of Ignacio, emergency medical services of the Southwest Hospital District and the Ute Pass Ambulance Service.
The sheriffs office received $184,506 to help finance the 24-hour patrol coverage of southeastern La Plata County where Sky Ute Casino is located, as well as for other services including detaining inmates being held on gaming-related offenses at the county jail.
The district attorneys office was given $19,742 to support staffing and operations.
Because gaming has an effect on the Ignacio Police Department, the town was awarded $76,550 for the additional costs to personnel and operations.
The Southwest Hospital District received $127,500 to help support personnel and operating costs of its emergency medical services related to gaming impacts.
And the Ute Pass Ambulance Service added $45,000 to its coffers to replace aging medical equipment while allowing it to continue to provide advanced life-support technologies to both gaming and nongaming patients.
A total of $3.2 million was granted to 38 projects in nine counties in this most recent granting cycle. The Local Government Limited Gaming Impact Program was created in 1997 to help local communities that can provide documentation of the impact of gaming in their area. The program is funded by a portion of the state taxes on limited gaming in those counties.