Delta’s second public information meeting saw a number of North Delta residents sharing their opinion about the proposed casino in Ladner.
The Feb. 7 meeting, which ran from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sungod Recreation Centre, featured a number of display boards with facts, statistics and renderings of the proposed casino, as well as a number of city and casino representatives available to answer questions and take comments about the proposal.
At least two men at the public hearing were there to share their concerns about the removal of the Town & Country indoor tennis facility, something Gateway Casinos and the City of Delta have already been made aware of during a separate meeting in January.
“I think there has to be some negotiation when it comes to the sports facility that’s going to be taken away,” resident Warren Stringer said.
“I don’t think anybody should be out there picketing to say this thing shouldn’t go ahead, but I think if you’re tearing down something that’s been there for 40, 50 years, there should be some consideration for putting something new.”
Some residents, like Clara Chan and two other women writing long comments to the city (who declined to give their names), were opposed to the casino as it was planned.
“Delta is a mainly residential area, that’s why we moved here,” Chan said said. “I don’t mind to have [the casino] but not that close to the residential area.”
Others, like Jim Sundar and Heather and Terry Guest, were in favour of the casino.
“I think it’s a good thing for Delta,” Heather Guest said. “If it’s run properly, and hopefully it is — we need a hotel. A really nice hotel. It can only be a good thing.”
However, many residents came to the information meeting with little or no opinion, hoping to ask questions and get a better understanding of the proposal.
According to Delta’s director of community planning and development, Marcy Sangret, these feelings were fairly typical of those expressed at the first city public information meeting on Feb. 6 at Harris Barn in Ladner.
“I think it’s been pretty balanced as far as we heard so far” between positive, negative and indifferent comments, she said about the comments from the first public information meeting.
“Some people are just curious, they want to know what it’s about, what it’s going to look like, what it’s going to contain in terms of the hotel, restaurants, casino,” Sangret said. “We heard some concerns about traffic and congestion, particularly at our meeting last week … and we heard about the concerns about money laundering and wanting to know what the impact will be to Delta policing.”
The third and final public information meeting on the proposed casino will be held at Harris Barn in Ladner from 4 to 8 p.m. on this evening (Thursday, Feb. 8). After that, the proposal will go to a multi-committee meeting, held at Harris Barn on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., for discussion.
The meeting will be an opportunity for discussion between the “Invest in Delta” mayor’s standing committee; the standing committee on finance; the agricultural advisory committee; the community planning advisory committee; the environment advisory committee; the heritage advisory committee; the parks, recreation and culture commission; and the transportation technical committee. Although it will be open to members of the public, there will not be an opportunity for them to ask questions or participate in the discussion.