Part two of the South Surrey casino public hearing is set to take place Friday at Surrey City Hall, bringing to an end the marathon session that ran all of Monday night into Tuesday morning.
As such, parties on all sides are preparing for their final chance at winning council's favour and concluding the saga of the South Surrey casino once and for all.
At Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited, Friday will be their last shot to make the case that a casino/ entertainment complex is the right thing for South Surrey.
"Last night was really emotional for a lot of people and we understand that and we're very excited and impressed with the process and that everybody is getting the chance to stand up and speak their minds," said Tanyra Gabara, community liason for Gateway the day after Monday's hearing. "I think that's really important at this point and time that this is going the way it needs to go for the public."
For casino opponent Terry McNiece, president of the South Surrey Ratepayer's Association, the public hearing process, while tedious, was a good chance for people to finally have their say directly to council.
"I think council is going to get a good feel for how the community feels, it's a good reflection on what actual residents think about this," said McNiece. "It's up to Mayor Watts to determine how late it goes. It is what it is. The way I look at it, it's the quality of the speakers not the quantity."
As for whether or not council will make their decision immediately following the hearing, Coun. Marvin Hunt said that has generally been the tradition when it comes to public hearings.
"I would expect council will make a decision at the end of the public hearing because that's normally what we do," he said. "That may change if staff needs clarification on something or it gets referred back to staff for more information, but I
expect that council would make a decision afterwards."
Hunt said so far, most people have been sticking to topic.
"We had six hours of people talking, got through more than 60, so that was pretty good," he said. "People, when passionate about something, you have lot of points across and I thought they did a very good job at being succinct."
Finally, when asked if there would be a possibility of council holding over the hearing once more if it runs late, Hunt simply said, "time will tell."
The public hearing for the South Surrey casino resumes 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Surrey City Hall.
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