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Fruitport Township Give Go Signal for Casino Construction

On August 21st, 2008, two weeks after a divided Fruitport Township narrowly give their approval to a resolution of support for the construction of a casino in their area, trustees recently studied the issue and "unified". Planning Commission Chairman Jeff Jacobs debut a revised resolution that added a requirement for a municipal service agreement with the Indian Tribe, hoping to get an overwhelming number of support for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians who have bought the former Great Lakes Downs location with plans to construct a casino facility. Jacobs said to the board that if they can work together, they can make this work not only for themselves and the Little River Tribe. He added that they need to be more unified in this matter.

After studying the services agreement language on the proposal Jacobs presented, the board-without 3 trustees who passed written approval of the resolution-gave their approval unanimously. The contingency states that the board will iron out details of a municipal service agreement with the Little River Tribe before the construction of the casino starts. A municipal service agreement covers the additional infrastructures that are needed for the project like the roads, sewer and water services.

The resolution passed that day trumps the first resolution of support the board approved in a four to three vote at a heated July 28th, 2008 board meeting. The first resolution did not include any contingency at all. The recently passed resolution is also similar to the one passed by the Muskegon County Board of Commission but with an additional line of all interested groups must understand that this approval is based on making a good municipal service and developmental agreement.

The tribe's chief, Larry Romanelli commented that he was not aware that the board reviewed the issue, but was relieved that the resolution passed. Romanelli said that he fully understand the hesitation and reservations of the board members the last time they approved it. It only supports their decision and it sends a good message to the community. Jacobs commented that the contingency will also give the board some form of reassurance that all concerns would be addressed to the satisfaction of the parties concerned before the project starts.


09/14/2008 07:54 PM


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