LANSING, Mich. (UKTN) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has rejected a $180 million off-reservation casino proposal in western Michigan that a tribe has been working on for more than a decade.
Whitmer’s rejection of the proposal on Wednesday came after the US Department of the Interior rejected his request to extend its UKTN for deciding whether to allow the project to proceed.
READ MORE: Status: Chemical Company, Likely Source of Flint River Spill
Whitmer wrote in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland that the department had placed her in an “impossible position” and that she had been left without “information essential to my decision.”
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians had hoped to build the casino on 87 acres of land near Muskegon that the tribe purchased in 2008. Because the site is not on the tribe’s reservation, the casino needed l federal and state approval. The Ministry of the Interior gave its approval in December 2020.
Whitmer asked the department in May to decide by Thursday whether a neighboring tribe, the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians, would gain federal recognition or extend the state’s UKTN to decide on the casino proposal. The Grand River Bands opposed the proposed casino.
READ MORE: Police investigate after man was shot and killed in Detroit
“Despite my best efforts to obtain responses from the DOI regarding the pending application for recognition of the Grand River Bands, I find myself without information critical to my decision on the two-part determination of the Little River Band,” Whitmer wrote. .
Whitmer added that once a decision is made on the Grand River bands’ petition for recognition, she “would welcome the opportunity to revisit this matter.”
Larry Romanelli, the leader of the Little River Band, said the tribe was “absolutely devastated” by the decision and had “met all of the criteria required for approval”.
NO MORE NEWS: Western Michigan University Men’s Basketball Players Hit The Court With The Beautiful Lives Project
© 2022 UK Time News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.