Residents protest casino in Broken Arrow

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - The fight over plans to build a casino in Broken Arrow is heating up.

On Thursday, dozens of residents gathered across from the site on 111th and South 129th East Avenue to protest the plans.

Crews are busy at work moving dirt at what could be the future home to the Red Clay Casino.

Just across the road, neighbors voiced their opposition, loud and clear.

The Kialegee Tribe says the casino will be good for Broken Arrow's economy. But neighbors who live just down the street from the site say the casino is not welcome, and would do more harm than good.

"I'm fine with growth, I'm real happy with the growth that BA is seeing, but having a casino here isn't the type of growth that we're looking for," said BA resident Zane Anderson.

The proposed casino is surrounded by neighborhoods, a church and a Tulsa Tech campus.  A grassroots group called Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming, LLC just formed to fight the casino.

"If this can happen here in Broken Arrow, it can happen in any community, certainly across the state of Oklahoma," said Lori Pettus.

Residents say right now they have more questions than answers.

"We cannot find out who for sure owns the land, we cannot find out who is funding this," Pettus said.

Attorney for the grassroots group, Jared Cawley, says the tribe can't legally build a casino on that land, without the federal government's approval.

"Their lands are not across the street here in Broken Arrow. Their tribal headquarters is in Wetumka, Oklahoma. They do not have tribal jurisdiction on that land," he said.

The Kialegee Tribe has not yet answered those questions, but says the project will bring more jobs to the area.

The tribe released a statement, saying--

"We have at all times kept the federal decision makers and the city of Broken Arrow fully apprised of developments concerning our project. "

In the meantime, residents are circulating a petition and calling on lawmakers for help.

"A nuclear waste dump could bring more jobs to Broken Arrow. But I don't want a nuclear waste dump on this corner, next to my home, next to my school, next to my church either," Cawley said.

The Kialegee Tribe did not return phone calls to 2News concerning the protest.

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