Gov. Whitmer requests six-month extension for Muskegon County casino project

For much of the past year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been presented with an opportunity to approve a major job-creating project in Muskegon County. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a bit longer, as the governor formally requested a six-month deadline extension.

The governor’s request for an extension is not the news I was hoping Muskegon County residents would receive. Every day she postpones this project, she is also delaying 1,500 construction jobs and 1,500 high-paying full-time jobs.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians have been planning to build the casino in our county for many years. After a lengthy approval process, the federal government gave the go-ahead last December. Since the federal government’s approval, the decision on whether to proceed has been on Gov. Whitmer’s desk.

Many state and local officials, as well as countless residents, have previously joined together to support the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians casino project. The collective support speaks volumes about the shared belief in the project’s potential to positively impact our community.

The casino’s residual economic impact will also support additional jobs and businesses, as well as boost tourism in the region with an estimated 1.8 million visitors per year. It is also estimated that the casino will annually generate $15 million in tax revenue for the state and millions more for local governments.

I have been a constant supporter of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians casino project, and I have been encouraging the governor to quickly approve the plan so that construction of this major facility could promptly begin.

My thanks to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for their commitment to Muskegon County, and to all local officials and residents who have been so vocal in their support. I strongly encourage West Michigan residents to continue contacting the governor’s office to let your voices be heard. You can reach the governor’s office by calling 517-335-7858.

You can also submit written comments that will be sent directly to Gov. Whitmer’s office. Please visit my website at SenatorJonBumstead.com/casino/ to share your thoughts with the governor and encourage her to support the casino in Muskegon County.