Tribe Members May Vote on Lansing Casino Project

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Tribe Members May Vote on Lansing Casino Project

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 8, 2012

A long line of residents lined up to give their 'two cents' on the possibility of having a casino in Lansing at a public forum on Wednesday. Most are against it, but this time, Mayor Virg Bernero's proposal could be faced with another challenge.

According to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe's general counsel, their approved agreement with Lansing will most likely go to a referendum, meaning tribe members will have a chance to vote for or against it.

"The [tribal] board is quite confident that the members will support the program. We have been all over the state talking to the membership," said John Wernet, general counsel for the Sault Tribe.

Mayor Bernero shares this confidence and believes it's just a minor challenge in the grand scheme of things.

"We are going to jump some hurdles. If we get this thing done, we're going to have to jump some mighty big hurdles. This is a small one," Bernero said.

However, if tribe members vote 'NO,' it'll mean the agreement between the city and the tribe will be invalid. What that could mean for the casino project is still up in the air.

"Whether or not that would involve...looking at a different parcel of property or simply dropping this project altogether I think remains to be seen," Wernet said.

Should matters get to that point, Mayor Bernero says he will continue moving the casino forward, with a promise for jobs and scholarships, even if it means starting over.