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Mixed feelings about casino relocation

August 18, 2014 - 12:51 PM

KAMLOOPS - While Gateway Casinos representatives say the people coming out to the information sessions have been mostly supportive of the plan to move the Lake City Casino from downtown to Aberdeen, the opinions in the feedback the city has received so far has been mixed.

In advance of the Tuesday night public hearing on the proposed relocation, there have been letters from people who support the move and those who are against it.

Some of the letters questioned the need to keep the casino downtown, one of the recommendations from city staff back in July. Others outlined concerns about the lack of proper entertainment facilities at the current Lake City Casino location. There was also a concern expressed about the safety of customers who smoke because apparently they are harassed for cigarettes and change by homeless people.

“Please Please Please. Help us feel proud about our work place, and make LakeCity Casino a better place for the entire town to enjoy!” two casino employees pleaded in a letter to city council.

It's not surprising traffic issues came up. Traffic congestion around the casino's proposed loaction in Aberdeen had been the top concern heard by Gateway staff at the open houses held earlier this year.

“Traffic is a major concern. Traffic now is nearly at a standstill at certain times and accidents happen nearly every day,” Garry Forgaard says in his letter. “Putting a casino in the Rona site will make things worse as drivers will try to turn left onto Versatile.”

Traffic concerns are something some people think the city should address before allowing the development to go ahead.

“Why not find a solution? I am sure Gateway would be all too willing to consult and maybe even contribute some funds,” letter writer John Cox says.

Those traffic solutions could include a roundabout at Versatile Drive and Hugh Allan Drive, additional traffic lights in the area to help control the flow of traffic to and from the highway and widening a portion of Hugh Allan Drive, as outlined by the Ministry of Transportation.

Staff had recommended council turn down the application to rezone the former Rona property and amend the official community plan to allow the casino to relocate to Aberdeen, but the councillors opted to hear from the public before making a decision.

In anticipation of a large crowd, the public hearing will be held at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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