Lansing Casino Land Transfer Delayed

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

The plan to build a casino in the Capital City is being prolonged. Wednesday Lansing Mayor and a Sault Ste. Marie Tribe leader announced the Lansing Casino land transfer would be delayed 90 days. The two groups have mutually decided to move the date from August 1 to November 1.

"We're we guilty of being a little overambitious? You know, biting off more than we could chew? Maybe," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "I would rather be guilty of trying to move to fast than moving too slow. No body is ever going to say we moved too slow."

Wednesday Mayor Bernero Reaffirmed his determination to get the project finished.

"We will get it done by this new deadline if not before. All the pending issues that need to be resolved by november one will be resolved," said Bernero.

The new casino comes with opposition. The governor and attorney general both strongly oppose the casino citing a district court decision that shut down a similar one. But the Sault Tribe says that will not be the case with them.

"The difference is that there's a mandatory trust provision within our language that doesn't exist in Bay Mills," said Aaron Payment, Chairperson for the Sault St. Marie Tribe. [There's a] "Mandatory trust provision that requires the Secretary of the Interior to take the land into trust to have it defined as indian land as indian land is held. And that's the separate provision that we have that we believe is one step further on the legality than what Bay Mills attempted."

And the Tribe is aggressively working to make their casino a reality.

"We want to have a world class facility," said Payment "But we also want to have revenue that's operating and slots generate revenue. So we want to move as aggressively as possible to get this up and running."

Mayor Bernero says he's confident they'll meet that deadline. "First and foremost we are here today to reaffirm our total commitment to this partnership and this extraordinary project that will create 1,500 permanent full-time jobs and over 700 construction jobs in our city."


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