BELOIT (WIFR) -- Beloit residents get a chance to weigh in on a proposed Indian casino and the environmental impact it would have on the community, though, not many from the public took to the microphone Thursday night.
There were about 2 dozen people at the hearing but only a handful got up to speak, and only 2 were members of the general public. The other three represented the city and township of Beloit and the local chamber of commerce. None of the speakers said anything about the environmental effects of the proposed Ho-Chunk casino. Instead, their focus was on the economic impact of the casino. As a Class III gaming facility, there'd be slots and table games, plus a 300 room hotel. And some Beloit residents say, all that is exactly what their town
“It could be nothing but a plus if they get it in here and do it right. It could be a thousand jobs, and once you get enough employment in here, enough revenue, the city can start making deals with big firms and bring business in," says Beloit resident James Wagle.
A few of the people at the public hearing said they do plan to submit written statements to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. All that testimony will be used to help the federal government decide whether or not to approve the casino. That decision could be made any time in the next year and a half.
If the federal government approves the casino, the governor of Wisconsin still has to sign off on the project. Building the casino would create around two hundred construction jobs and even more permanent positions once the casino and hotel are up and running.