After receiving preliminary approval from the city council last week, councilors are expected to ratify an agreement that will bring resolution to the appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) regarding the decision to rezone a parcel of land on Crawford Dr. for the proposed new Shorelines Casino Peterborough, according to the Peterborough Examiner.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) will reportedly receive annual payments of $150,000 from the city of Peterborough in Ontario, over the next 20 years to cover security and downtown promotion costs. The agreement was announced on Feb. 13 after a closed-door special committee meeting was held prior to the regular Monday night city council meeting. Prior to the 45-minute City Hall meeting, a protest was staged by the No Casino Peterborough group, which is against a casino no matter the location.

If the city council ratifies the settlement, casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp. can begin construction of its new casino at The Parkway located at the city’s south end.

Last year, Peterborough-based AON Inc. and the DBIA appealed the city’s rezoning for the casino project, arguing via its 53-page report stating that downtown Peterborough would be hurt by a new casino on the outskirts of town. The report indicated that people would be drawn away from downtown entertainment, which would then lead to the addition of new entertainment venues around the casino, resulting in a second entertainment district competing with the downtown district.

Also appealing to the OMB was the No Casino Peterborough group, which withdrew itself as an official party to the legal battle in late December due to lack of funds for attorney fees and expert witnesses. The group decided instead to hold participant status in the appeal.

While no public debate was held by city councilors on the settlement prior to it receiving preliminary approval last Monday, the resulting 9-2 vote was held in public. There is expected to be a debate on Tuesday, however, which citizens will have the opportunity to voice their opinion prior to the vote, according to the news agency.

The decision to locate the new casino in the city situated on the Otonabee River in Central Ontario, Canada, rather than the existing Fraserville site, was made by Great Canadian Gaming several years ago after the City Council indicated to the gaming company that it was willing to host a casino.

The Council will meet at City Hall on Tuesday at 6:30pm, rather than on Monday due to the Family Day holiday.