In Rhode Island, the plan from casino operator Twin River Management Group Incorporated to build a new full-scale facility in the town of Tiverton using the transferred license for its Newport Grand Casino slots-only property has reportedly taken a giant step forward.

According to a report from the local The Herald News newspaper, a recent inspection by the Rhode Island Department Of Environmental Management has ruled that the construction of the new Twin River Tiverton Casino Hotel would represent only an “insignificant alteration” to the environment of the chosen 45-acre site, which is currently classed as a wetland and contains a swamp, an unnamed intermittent stream and a small brook.

The plan from Twin River Management Group Incorporated, which also operates the nearby Twin River Casino along with the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, was approved by voters via a state-wide referendum in November and calls for the construction of a 80,000 sq ft casino and accompanying 18,000 sq ft hotel along with a two-level parking garage capable of holding up to 1,800 cars.

However, before building work can begin on the casino near the Massachusetts border, the newspaper reported that Twin River Management Group Incorporated will now be required to satisfy 14 conditions specified by Martin Wencek, Officer Of Water Resources And Freshwater Wetlands Program Permitting Supervisor for the small eastern state’s Department Of Environmental Management. These include the positioning of required signage and the development of measures to control erosion and run off during construction.

“They are on a fast track,” Stuart Hardy, Planning Board Chairman for Tiverton, told The Herald News. “We want to keep pace with that if we can and also do our due diligence required for the town. That was a pre-application concept plan review. It gave the Planning Board and the audience a chance to ask questions.”

Hardy reportedly explained that his body is scheduled to meet on February 7 to approve draft language that would change the town’s Comprehensive Community Plan and zoning ordinance to allow for a casino on the selected land. Construction would then be permitted once this is completed and endorsed by Tiverton Town Council.

“Basically, our role will be very technical,” Hardy told the newspaper. “It will be a done deal. There will be no question of killing it. After that, we are down to the nuts and bolts of engineering.”

Twin River Management Group Incorporated earlier declared that it hopes to open the new Twin River Tiverton Casino Hotel by July of 2018 while the Rhode Island Department Of Transportation has promised to rebuild nearby intersections and replace stop signs with a roundabout.

“The state has promised Twin River [Management Group Incorporated] that it will have that roundabout up and running in time for the casino,” Hardy told The Herald News. “We’ll do what we can to get our part done.”