The College Township Council heard from the community Thursday night about the controversial casino proposal.
The meeting was heated, to say the least.
The stated goal for a number of area residents, going into tonight’s meeting, was to get the council to send a letter to the PA Gaming Commission denying the casino’s license application.
Several residents showed up to the meeting with homemade signs opposing the project.
If approved, the proposed casino would replace the closed-down Macy’s at the Nittany Mall.
Of the dozens of people who spoke at the meeting in person or remotely, about only two were in favor of the casino. The concerns many brought up were that of gambling addiction, sex trafficking, and drug selling among others.
Many urged the council to at least send a letter to the Gaming Commission: either to urge it not to grant the casino license, or to at least make the public opposition known. This is despite the fact that the official deadline for public comment was in June.
“Is that what we do nowadays? Do we plan for the best and hope that the worst doesn’t happen?” said one area male resident. “‘Cause it certainly sounds that way with the casino.”
“It’s not just College Township,” said one woman, “it’s the whole Centre Region that’s gonna be affected by this.”
And after the council unanimously voted no on sending that letter to the gaming commission, one elderly woman shouted, “What is wrong with you?! Why don’t you be brave and do the right thing?”
It should be noted that after that initial motion, the council held a second one on the exact same matter. The only person to vote in favor was Paul Tekac, while the four others voted no.