Group gives petitions to governor
500 signatures collected against casino in county
A state legislator on Tuesday delivered to Kansas Gov. Bill Graves petitions against the location of a casino in Leavenworth County.
The petitions, containing about 500 signatures of area residents, asked the governor to deny location of the casino in the county. The governor's approval and approval from the state Legislature are two of several steps necessary before a casino could open in the county.
Members of the Delaware Tribe of Indians are scouting locations in southern Leavenworth County as sites for a casino and other development.
Tribal leaders have had discussions with city officials in Tonganoxie and Basehor, as well as with Leavenworth County commissioners.
Tonganoxie city council members have set a public hearing on the issue for 7 p.m. April 17 at Tonganoxie High School.
State Sen. Bob Lyon, R-Winchester, and Tonganoxie resident Connie O'Brien gave anti-casino petitions to the governor Tuesday morning.
"I am personally opposed to this," Lyon said. "I'm looking at this as helping some constituents."
Lyon has been an outspoken critic of a proposal to allow slot machines at the Wood-lands race track in Kansas City, Kan., a measure that's been before the Kansas Legislature this session.
O'Brien, who is chairwoman of Stand Up For Leavenworth County, said she and Lyon had only a few minutes to speak to the governor.
"The only thing he said is that he had to approve the other Indian casinos that were here because it was a law that was put in place," she said.
"Just from what he said, he doesn't want outside tribes coming in. That's what he meant."
The Delaware tribe now is based in Bartlesville, Okla., but is hoping to purchase some of the land in Leavenworth County that the tribe had owned for about 30 years in the mid-1800s.
A public meeting on the Delaware Tribe of Indians' proposal for a casino in southern Leavenworth County will be conducted by the Tonganoxie City Council at 7 p.m. April 17 at Tonganoxie High School.
Members of the tribe will make a presentation.
Public comment is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., council members have agreed.
Each speaker will have a maximum of two minutes to speak.
Council members suggest that anyone wanting to speak should register at city hall.