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City, Tribe Extend Deadline to Complete Casino Land Transfer

City of Lansing
An artist's rendering of the Kewadin Lansing casino. Planners are extending their self-imposed deadline for transferring land from the city of Lansing to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which will operate the casino.

The city of Lansing and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians are extending their self-imposed deadline for finalizing a land transfer in preparation for a new downtown casino. 

Project leaders had initially set an August 1 completion date to transfer ownership of the land adjacent to the Lansing Center from the city to the tribe.  Now, they’re pushing their deadline back 90 days to November 1.  Officials insist the Kewadin Lansing casino project is following what they call an “aggressive” timeline, but say they simply need more time to finalize some details. 

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero insists the move is not a delay.

"Were we guilty of being a little over ambitious, biting off more than we could chew?" Bernero asked rhetorically.  "Maybe.  I'd rather be guilty of trying to move too fast than moving too slow.  Nobody's ever going to say we moved too slow."

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is considering building a temporary casino first.  Tribal chairman Aaron Payment says revenue totals would determine the scope of a larger, permanent facility.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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