It was a different tone at the latest public meeting on the possibility of a casino in the area.
A meeting for people in Wasaga Beach only was standing room only with about 400 people in attendance at the Rec Plex last night.
At this meeting there was a presentation by OLG officials like at the joint public meeting for people in neighbouring municipalities last Tuesday.
But instead of the public focusing on the social issues and possible drain on the medical community, the business community was well represented by speakers this time around.
During the nearly two and a half hour meeting, twelve people took to the microphone.
Of them, all but three spoke in favour of a casino coming to Wasaga Beach to make the town a year round destination, to bring small hotel chains and other recreation activities and to boost overnight accommodations and winter lodging.
President of the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce, Mark Bannerman, told council (the whole council was at this meeting) that based on its own survey circulated to chamber members, 88.5% want a casino in town.
Before the public took to the microphone, Mayor Cal Patterson read questions submitted by 14 different people.
Many of the questions centred on concern over the location and the process to choose a place in town.
OLG officials said council can specify locations they don’t want in the resolution to OLG stating the town wants to be a host if that’s what council decides to do.
Council would also have a say on location through the zoning process.
One question was about expected success and OLG representatives said they expect the revenue of this possible casino to be around $20-million, 5% of which goes to the town.
OLG also said it would employ about a hundred people, but if tables are added to the 300 slots, then the number of jobs could double and front line workers and managers could make $40,000 to $50,000 a year.
Town staff will now compile public comment made at both public meetings and on the survey on the town website and prepare a report for discussion at the November 6th Wasaga Beach Committee of the Whole meeting.
People in Wasaga have until this Friday to fill out the online survey and until November 2nd to hand in a paper copy.
A public meeting will be held in Collingwood on Monday night on whether that town’s residents want the town to be considered as a host.
That meeting is in council chambers at 5 o’clock following an open house to ask questions at four o’clock.