Letters to the Editor

Water supply/casino project

worries Chocolay resident

To the Journal editor:

This letter is in response to the editorial on Dec. 10 titled “Casino Upgrade a Great Addition to Community.” As a resident of Chocolay Township, I would like to challenge that viewpoint.

Having lived here for over 27 years, there have been four different types of development proposed on the M-28/Kawbawgam corner and each have been challenged by the residents, beginning in 1998. The reason for the opposition is due to the availability of an adequate water supply. Residents have raised the issue of both quantity and quality of water for household wells.

With this proposed development, I have a few questions: where is the water going to come from if current wells already have a difficult time drawing on the water supply? Who is responsible for paying for it? What is Chocolay Township’s obligation to this new water/septic system and to us as residents and taxpayers? And at what cost to the surrounding residential neighborhood and environment?

The editorial also stated “it’s hard to find a downside to this project” and “from all accounts, the current casino near Kawbawgam Road has been a positive addition.” For those of us who are tired of these “water wars,” it has not all been positive. I am not opposing casinos or development, but I am opposing development that will have a negative impact on a residential neighborhood and the environment.

Also, in the editorial it stated that the site of the former Marquette County airport is no longer needed. I called the governor’s office here in Marquette and was told that the governor is still open to discussions with KBIC regarding the Negaunee Township site. I believed that the governor put a stop to the development, but I found out that’s not true. It’s still an open door to sit down, complete the paperwork for trust status and work out an agreement that will benefit all of the citizens in Michigan.

Since the Negaunee Township site is still an option, it makes sense to work out some of these issues before building a casino development of this size. It would also be unfortunate to develop this huge entertainment center in a residential neighborhood with an inadequate water supply. There is a downside to developing this complex in Chocolay Township, because, what happens when the wells run dry?

Linda Rossberg

Chocolay Township