Casino could come to Flint Twp., residents have mixed reactions

The land was purchased late last year. / Mike Horne

The Bay Mills Indian Community wants to build a casino on 28 acres of land in Flint Township.

The Flint Journal reports the development, which the group hopes to build on Lennon and Dutcher Roads, could bring 700 jobs to the area.

NBC25 asked several people in the community their reaction to the proposal. Shannon Ash says, Sound promising, but I want to know more details. Tina Nelson stated, At this day in age I think it's the last thing flint needs| I don't think the people around here need to be going to the casino first thing, and secondly I TMd like to see the money going to something better than a casino." Michael Biernett told NBC25, "Even though it may bring 700 jobs, it may wreck somebody's family. Family is worth more than 700 jobs."

At a meeting Monday night, a Bay Mills executive council chairman said he's focusing on building a relationship with Flint Township leaders and public safety.

He added talk of a casino is just talk for the time being.

"We're not talking about a casino. What we're talking about is developing a relationship between Bay Mills and Flint Township and we're going to be coming down here several times to have forums where can come in and discuss resident concerns, their ideas, and suggestions on how we can go forward collectively," said Parker.

The Bay Mills Indian community does not need permission from Flint Township to start the project however a spokesperson for Saginaw Chippewa Tribe had some objections and showed up at Monday night's meeting.

"We're against the Bay Mills going 280 miles from it's reservation to open a casino in Flint Township. We do not believe the land they purchased in Flint Township is Indian lands. We think it's held like any other lands would be held under state jurisdiction and the township could collect taxes for the land," said James Nye, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe spokesperson.

Parker says the Flint Township project is on hold until a federal court case is settled. Bay Mills is being sued by the state for opening a casino in Vanderbilt. The lawsuit claims Bay Mills did not have the right approvals in place.

We want to hear your opinion. How do you feel about a casino being built near the Genesee Valley Shopping Center in Flint Township? Tell us in the comment section below.