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"Four years before the supplement, children in these families had high levels of anxiety, depression and conduct problems.Four years after the supplement began, levels were no higher than those of children who were never poor." For Mongiello, who is also CFO of the American Revolutionary War Living History Center, believes the benefits that would come from a casino in Kings Mountain are something the Catawba Indian Nation has long been owed for their loyalty during the Revolutionary War.There have been several studies showing economic uplift that were completed and shown to Congress," Mongiello says."The crime that they predict — the knifings, or mafia gangs that will come — I never witnessed any of that.While the Catawba Indian Nation hopes to begin construction on a multi-million-dollar movie studio just south of Charlotte in the coming months, a proposed casino project a little further down the border remains in limbo as the Nation waits for approval from the federal government.Meanwhile, residents living around the potential site disagree about whether the casino's impact will be positive or negative for those living around it.Adam Forcade founded the King's Mountain Awareness Group (KMAG) to oppose the casino after officials with the Catawba Indian Nation submitted the application to the BIA over two years ago.The group has over 1,700 members on its Facebook page.
"For families that hovered near poverty, the cash supplement that lifted them above the federal poverty line had a powerful effect in both the short and longer terms," Costello testified.
Members planned to show up in full force to the first meeting of the new council and mayor on January 26, after this issue was sent to print. Martin Mongiello, chair of the Tourism Development Authority in nearby Grover, started a petition asking that the BIA hurry along in approving the Nation's application.
The petition currently has just under 2,000 signatures.
He said three members of the new council are currently in opposition to the casino and he hopes to turn a fourth soon, (which would be a majority) especially "now that the old mayor is not there to influence their decision." The new mayor, however, isn't on KMAG's side either.
When asked about the casino, Mayor Scott Neisler said he approves of its construction, mainly because Kings Mountain owns its electric power utility, funding a large part of the town's budget, and it's estimated that the casino will double the current power usage of the entire town.