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Track getting $5 million facelift

GreeneTrack, Inc. announced Dec. 12 that the corporation will make $5 million in renovations and equipment at its facility in Eutaw. The facility, which currently features betting on simulcast greyhound racing, is expected to be a location for bingo gaming in 2004. Live greyhound racing was halted at the park in 1996.

The Greene County Commission voted Dec. 8 to grant a Community Revitalization Reduction, a tax break for the corporation.

The citizens of Greene County overwhelmingly approved bingo gaming in a Nov. 4 vote. Estimates of up to $1 million a year have been speculated for the revenue that could be collected from bingo annually.

Bingo gaming at GreeneTrack will bring the need for over 150 new jobs. "These jobs come with a salary well above minimum wage and an attractive fringe benefit package which includes a 401K plan, medical, health and dental insurance for employees and their family," according to the corporation’s press release.

Approximately 70 employees currently work at GreeneTrack, said Herlecia Hampton, marketing director for GreeneTrack.

A non-profit organization will run the gaming. The formula for dispensing money from bingo profits will include 40 percent for the Greene County Board of Education, 20 percent for county E-911, 20 percent for the volunteer fire department association, and 10 percent each for the sheriff’s department and the county racing commission.

The racing commission will dispense money from its share to various charities in the area.

GreenTrack was originally opened in 1977. The facility was given to the existing employees in 1995 by owner Paul Bryant Jr. That corporation of employees continues to run the facility.