Hellam Township open to mini-casino, says it could possibly save Historical Mifflin House

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HELLAM TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- What are the odds a mini-casino could save the Historical Mifflin House in York County?

"Honestly, it would be 1 of 3," said Galen Weibley, the chair of Hellam Township supervisors. He's talking about if the company chose the township for its next business.

Weibley says Penn National Gaming is considering three properties just off the Wrightsville exit on Route 30, including the Mifflin House.

The Mifflin House property was formerly a stop on the Underground Railroad. It dates back to the 1800's.

"They [Penn National Gaming] heard from residents. They're well aware of it, and again, we're hoping they would. It would be a win win for the community!" said Weibley.

It's not a guarantee. There's a chance Penn National could choose a different property or even a different municipality.

It won a bid for one within a 15 mile radius of Yoe Borough back in January. That area includes Hellam Township.

It's not a definite, but it's on the table.

A spokesman for Penn National Gaming emailing FOX43 this statement: “We are pleased that Hellam Township opted back in as a potential host municipality for our category 4 satellite casino.   We continue to explore a number of other options in York County and plan to make a final decision on a site in the near future. Should we ultimately decide to locate on land adjacent to the Mifflin House, we expect to work with township officials and community members to identify ways to preserve and promote the historic property."

A neighbor saying it would be unwise for Penn National to demolish the house.

"If you're trying to start a casino, I don't think the right thing to do would be destroying something the public in the area enjoy or at least want to preserve, cause then they may at least boycott your casino," said David Comfort of Mountville.

All of the township supervisors are in favor of having a mini-casino in the area.

"I think it would spur economic growth in the area, plus it would allow us to tie in the historic Wrightsville downtown," said Weibley.

A supervisor says the Hellam Township planning commission is meeting tomorrow night to discuss zoning for a mini-casino. He says Penn National has until July to decide where it will place it's mini-casino.

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