Greene County residents react to Greenetrack closing
GREENE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Greene County is reeling from the news that Greenetrack is closing. Owner Luther Winn has declined to answer our calls and texts, but Eutaw leaders tell us the gaming operation is closed as of Feb. 1, and that leaves lots of unanswered questions moving forward.
The apparent closure comes six months after Winn vowed to fight on after the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled Greenetrack owed $76 million in back taxes. In fact, Winn held a widely attended news conference announcing that very thing and criticized the court ruling.
Taking the town of Eutaw as an example, city records show Greenetrack contributed around $4,000 per month to the general budget, and there’s more. Eutaw’s overall budget is around $3 million a year.
“I was hoping it would stay open,” said Ernestine Hicks.
Hicks couldn’t believe the news from her very own granddaughter, who works at Greenetrack.
“She hates it. She’s been with them for a long time and now they’re closing,” said Hicks.
Disappointment reigns at Eutaw City Hall. Mayor LaTasha Johnson says Greenetrack generously contributed around $4,000 a month to the town coffers.
“It’s not going to break us, but every little bit helps. My biggest concern is the 75 people who will lose their jobs,” said Johnson.
Just down the street at the Greene County Board of Education, the thought of losing more than $13,000 per month from Greenetrack isn’t sitting well with Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
“But it will have an impact. We hope we will not lose personnel. That will be the last alternative, but it will definitely affect programs that we have currently going,” said Jones.
According to city officials, Greenetrack also helped charities financially. Johnson says what makes all of this concerning is that Winn hasn’t provided much information on what happens now.
“I don’t know what the plans are for Greenetrack, but we do deserve to know something,” said Johnson.
Hicks says she knows what’s next for her granddaughter.
“She won’t have a job for a little while right now,” said Hicks.
Johnson says besides her worries about those 75 people losing their jobs, she is profoundly disappointed in the lack of communication about any of this from Winn.
Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.
Copyright 2023 WBRC. All rights reserved.