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Casino at Saganing Reservation, 290 Jobs, Announced, Ending Rumors

MyBayCity first reported the possibility of this development on 12/25/05

April 24, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Saginaw Chippewa tribal officials today confirmed reports that a casino will be built at White's Beach near Saganing in Standish Township, Arenac County. first reported the possibility of this development on Dec. 25, 2005 in an article headlined: "Rumors Persist About Casino or Resort at White's Beach in Arenac County."

The Bay City Times was poised to report in today's edition a confirmation of earlier reports from Frank Cloutier, public relations manager of the tribe, about the casino.

Cloutier said the tribal council had revealed the plan and discussed the White's Beach casino project last Saturday with tribal members.

Reports are that the casino will be open by December on a site across the street from the new community center. Sources said when the $2 million center was built the electrical and other services were installed to serve a larger project.

The Times noted that tribal officials as recent as several weeks ago had denied any plans for a casino at Saganing.

Mayor Mike Duranczyk of Pinconning reported at the Pinconning School Board last Monday that the project will bring about 290 jobs into the Pinconning-Standish area. the mayor is also a school board member.

"I don't think this will hurt Pinconning," said City Manager Dick Byrne. "Everyone coming from the South will have to go through Pinconning."

The casino plans to be open by December on a site now occupied by a community center. This photo ran in back in October of 2006.

Jeff Trombley, Standish Township supervisor, said the tribe has purchased the old Marathon gas station-restaurant on M-13 and property across the road. About 15 parcels of property are in various stages of purchase by the tribe, he said. The tribe reportedly is represented in land dealings by Martin Investment Properties, East Lansing.

"From what I hear this is awfully close to being a done deal," said Trombley. He said there are 17 tribal members living in Standish Township. The casino will pay no property taxes to the township but the tribe has been generous with grants for improvements that will benefit tribal members and it is likely that will continue with the casino, he said.

The tribe has about 350 acres of land on Worth Road and has waterfront on Saginaw Bay. Reportedly, this is one of the few Indian trust properties on a body of water in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, the Saginaw Chippewa tribe issued a stern dissent to the plans of the Hannahville Chippewa tribe to locate a casino near Romulus, noting that the land in question originally was Saginaw tribal land and is 450 miles from that tribe's reservation. The tribal statement called the Hannahville plan "bad for gaming in Michigan."###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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