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Neighborhood Reacts to Casino Plan

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- What do people on the west side of town think about the casino? It depends on who you ask.

Tim Cejka, a lifelong Cedar Rapidian, says the casino will bring his neighborhood back to life.

Can't wait for it to get here, itll bring more money, Cejka said. It'll bring in more people for the Northwest side of Cedar Rapids.

Some wonder if more people would be a good thing.

We got a school up the street, we got an elementary school over here, why would you want to be so chaotic with all that mess, resident Collette Rammelsberg said.

Rammelsberg is FOR the Casino but against its location. She is disabled and has worked with casino groups in other cities to make sure the money gambled is coming from the right place.

She says the same thing should be done here.

People that are on disability, SSI, they're going to gamble their money away, how are they gonna handle that?

Major Paul Logan with the Salvation Army calls the casino a double edged sword. He says he supports the idea of improving the city.

You'll see a positive influence, people coming downtown, Logan said.

However, hes hesitant at the same time.

[There] might be an increased need in terms of people needing assistance because of gambling, Logan said.

Business owners like Nate Sherwood with EduSkate are also on the fence. He's heard concerns, especially from those in the food service industry, about what the casino could mean for their small businesses.

You can get a hamburger for $2.50 cents because they know you're gonna spend money on the slot machines, etc, versus going to a mom and pop restaurant and spending seven dollars on a hamburger, Sherwood said.

He's says only time will tell.

I don't want to be overly optimistic, but I think it will do a lot of great stuff for this neighborhood.
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