The Grove Area Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a phone poll to determine the climate of its members regarding a proposed casino in Grove.
Of the 403 chamber members polled, 219 responded when asked if the casino would bring more shoppers to Grove.
Seventy percent of the respondents stated that “yes” the community would see an increase in shoppers.
The second question prompted members to project the impact they felt the casino would have on their particular business.
Chamber officials indicate that 43 percent of members polled said the casino would have a positive impact on their business, 39 percent believe the casino would have no impact on their business and 18 percent said they would feel a negative impact.
Sixty-two percent indicated that the proposed casino would have a positive impact on commercial property values while 19 percent said it would have no impact on commercial property values. Additionally, 19 percent believe a negative impact would be realized by commercial property owners.
Requested to set aside personal feelings regarding gambling, Grove chamber members were asked if the proposed casino would have a positive, negative or no impact on the community as a whole.
Officials said 49 percent of respondents feel the casino would have a positive impact on the community, 17 percent indicated that no impact would be incurred by the community and 34 percent believe that the community would experience a negative impact.
The last question of the phone survey polled members about the infrastructure needs of the casino project.
The Grove chamber board of directors determined that survey results from that question could be challenged because chamber members were asked to respond to a question in which many respondents held differing ideas and, in many cases, had no understanding of the term “infrastructure” and were uninformed about the actual infrastructure needs of the proposed casino.
In the question, chamber members were asked if the City of Grove should or should not provide the infrastructure for the proposed casino. While conducting the surveys, pollsters received a large number of responses from members that infrastructure costs should be shared by the casino and the City of Grove. Respondents were given a choice of “yes” or “no” regarding if the city should provide the infrastructure.
The survey was not prepared for a third response of a joint sharing of the cost. Consequently, for chamber members who feel the cost should be a joint liability, their responses were tallied as a “no” response.
Although the question was determined to be invalid, the chamber board decided to publish the results of the entire survey which revealed that 40 percent of those polled feel the City of Grove should provide infrastructure. Therefore, 60 of those polled said the casino should be liable for all infrastructure costs of the proposed project.