The municipal government has spoken up about the project announced by Frog Lake First Nation.
According to a statement issued on Thursday morning, the only communication between the City of Lloydminster and Frog Lake has been on the topic of regional servicing agreements.
“Any development within the Intermunicipal Development Plan referral area would be communicated to the City through the Intermunicipal Liaison Committee,” reads the statement.
“To date, the City has received no communication of any such development within the referral area. The City has had discussions with the Frog Lake group about municipal services and the City is supportive of developing regional servicing agreements for developments outside of our boundaries. Currently, within our boundaries, we have only an application for approval of a discretionary use (casino) within DC7 zoning, which was approved by City Council.”
The statement is attributed to Alan Cayford, the Acting Director of Planning and Engineering.
The committee referenced in the statement would be the body with authority on planning in the border areas between the City of Lloydminster and the County of Vermilion River. Formal notification of the project would come to the City via that committee, and the process to get to that point will begin with a presentation from Frog Lake to Vermilion River County council on July 26.
According to Daryl Watt, the Reeve of Vermilion River County, there has been no formal application for the development.
“We can only deal with the actual facts when they come out, and are presented to us,” said Watt.
“We anticipate that there will be more information revealed on July 26.”
Despite the lack of official information beyond Monday’s press release, Watt did detail how the approval process for the project could run, with a formal application to the county being the next step after the presentation on July 26. Once the application has been made, it would go to the Intermunicipal Liaison Committee, for review and comment.
A timeline on this process is unknown at this time.
“We try to process applications as rapidly as we possibly can to facilitate development in a timely manner,” said Watt.
Watt also did not want to speculate on what the residents of Vermilion River County might think about the project.
“There was a lot of concern about the previous casino, and I would doubt that anyone would jeopardize a $100 million dollar project, but in the same token people have strong feelings when you start using the word casino,” said Watt.
“That’s all part of the public process that will flow out of their application.”
Watt described the development as a boon for the area, and said he looked forward to working with all levels of government.
“It’s a $100 million dollar project in an area that is looking for good news, and that is a real big benefit,” said Watt.
“There is more to this than just saying the word casino. There is the arena, the hotel, the shopping part of it. It’s a major development, and a major economic boon for our area.”