Proposed Star Lake casino site needs environmental impact statement, citizens say
OTTERTAIL COUNTY, N.D. - Frustrations are growing for a group of concerned neighbors of a proposed Star Lake Casino in Ottertail County. They're worried what the casino would do to the ecosystem surrounding the lake. At a Tuesday, Aug.16, county ...
OTTERTAIL COUNTY, N.D. - Frustrations are growing for a group of concerned neighbors of a proposed Star Lake Casino in Ottertail County.
They're worried what the casino would do to the ecosystem surrounding the lake. At a Tuesday, Aug.16, county commission meeting, the "Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group" discussed their worries.
"(We want to) let them know how much concern there really is among the Star Lake, Dead Lake and Dent communities," spokesman Ty Dayton said.
"The rural character of Star Lake and surrounding area, we fear, will be destroyed forever," Dayton said.
The casino itself would be southeast of County Highway 41 and 380th Street on 14 acres of White Earth Nation's 'trust land', which is on the shores of the south arm of Star Lake.
The group wants a full environmental impact statement done on the trust land and the 225 acres of 'Fee Land' where parking lots and other non-gaming amenities would go.
"That much human pressure on the area is a major concern to what it will do in the intermediate term, maybe the short term and most definitely the long term," Dayton said.
Dayton says the mission statement of their group is to "protect, preserve, and enhance the environment".
They are worried run-off from the casino will be detrimental to the lakes and wetlands and want an EIS before construction starts.
"I think they came to make sure they were heard about their concerns for the environment. It is a very environmentally sensitive area and they just wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to get to a government unit," said Lee Rogness, Chairman for Ottertail County Commission.
The commission says the next step is the White Earth Nation voluntarily doing an environmental assessment.
When that's finished, there will be a 30-day public comment period where the public can once again weigh in.
Construction is expected to start this fall and the casino is scheduled to open sometime in 2017.