Counties targeted by Moore / Berger for casinos set to get BIG $$$$ from Raleigh for water / sewer expansion

*Aw, there’s NOTHIN’ to see here*:

Four North Carolina communities near proposed casino sites are slated to receive state grants for major water and sewage infrastructure upgrades, but leaders in three of them deny that their projects have anything to do with casinos. 

Officials in the fourth community, Anson County, acknowledge the upgrades could help increase the capacity of the systems to support such a project, if one of the proposed casinos is built nearby.

Communities in Rockingham, Nash, Anson and Union counties are among several towns and counties across the state that were awarded grants for similar upgrades.

These four counties are also represented by lawmakers who received campaign funding from executives of a Baltimore-based casino development firm, The Cordish Cos., which CPP investigated in July 2023. Casino legalization in North Carolina could reemerge as an issue in the legislature this year. […]

*But, of course.*  These guys and gals in Raleigh call themselves “representatives,” but the only people they seem to “represent” are the folks who sign their names to checks featuring a bunch of zeroes on the amount line.

You may remember that Phil Berger and Tim Moore did their damnedest to shove casinos down the throats of North Carolinians.  Approval of new casinos was part of the proposed budget that was fiercely debated in the middle and later part of 2023. Thanks to a lot of protest and noise from folks outside the Raleigh beltline, the casino issue was removed from the proposed state budget.  (Legislative leaders have strongly hinted that casinos could come up again in the lame-duck short session after the March primaries. )

What else do people have to do?  The message of NO CASINOS was sent loud and clear to our capital city. But here the corrupt politicians are appropriating money to lay the groundwork for the construction of the new casinos voters have loudly and clearly said they do not want.


[…] “We don’t have the capacity to support something like a casino site and we want to enhance our water and sewage capacity,” Anson County Manager Leonard Sossamon said. 

“If the Cordish folks come to Anson County, we’ll now be in a position to serve them.” 

The state legislature did not approve the proposal in the last session, but Sossamon said he’s waiting to see whether lawmakers will vote on casino legalization during this year’s session. 

All other town and county managers said the budget allocations for water and sewage upgrades have nothing to with building capacity for casino sites related to The Cordish Cos. […]

*Riiiiiight.  Move along, folks. Nothin’ to see here.*


[…] In the state budget funds were allocated to the following counties and towns in proximity to the four proposed casino sites for water and wastewater infrastructure projects: 

  • More than $54.5 million to Rockingham County — $10 million for water and wastewater projects along U.S. 220, about $23.6 million for other water and wastewater projects and $21 million for the extension of water services from Reidsville toward the unincorporated community of Ruffin. 
  • $4.5 million to the town of Madison in Rockingham County for an unspecified water or wastewater project 
  • $4 million to the town of Mayodan in Rockingham County for the wastewater treatment plant. 
  • About $17 million to Nash County for an unspecified water or wastewater project
  • $6 million to Anson County for a regional water or wastewater project
  • $4 million to Marshville in Union County near the Anson County line for a regional water or wastewater project. 

The way these grants work is that towns and counties do not receive the funding in full and are instead expected to pay for the projects and send receipts to the state for reimbursement, according to Frank Deese, the town manager of Marshville.

Prior to the current state budget, funds were also allocated for water and wastewater infrastructure in the 2022 state budget to counties and towns in the same areas of the state with the exception of Nash County: 

More than $17.8 million were allocated to Rockingham County for water and sewer infrastructure improvements and $1 million was allocated to Madison in Rockingham County for water and sewer infrastructure projects, $5 million to Anson County and $4 million to Marshville in nearby Union County.

Over the course of two years, that’s a total of $9.5 million allocated for water and wastewater infrastructure to the adjacent towns of Madison and Mayodan in Rockingham County and more than $72.3 million for water and sewer projects in the county at large, which is represented by state Senate leader Phil Berger.

Lauren Horsch, the spokesperson for Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said the funding is not related to any specific development and is instead aimed at addressing “critical water and sewer needs in those communities.” 

The Senate Republican Caucus hasn’t met yet to decide what legislation may be taken up during the short session that starts in April, Horsch said.

“Caucus”?  *Is that a synonym — or perhaps an alias or call sign  — for Messrs. Berger and Rabon?*


More than a “billion dollars in water-sewer infrastructure (are) funded in the budget,” said Demi Dowdy, the spokesperson for Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, the state House Speaker. 

“Since counties have a variety of unique infrastructure and economic development needs, it is up to the individual members to identify the best use of that funding in their districts,” Dowdy said.

Lance Metzler, the Rockingham County manager, said the funds allocated to the county over the past two years have nothing to do with the recently proposed entertainment district. The water and sewage upgrade “has been a plan for years,” Metzler said. 

“We’ve had to increase our infrastructure, water and sewer to accommodate growth,” he said. 


The town managers of Madison and Mayodan in Rockingham County, Amy Roberts and Chad Wall, both said the grant funding received over the past two years is unrelated to the casino sites. 

Stacie Shatzer, the county manager of Nash County, also said the fund allocation is not tied to any casino plans and will be used for water and sewer upgrades.