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East Windsor residents express concern over new casino

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EAST WINDSOR -- The plans to build a new casino are taking shape, but some residents fear that the people making the decisions aren't considering the effects legalized gambling will have on the town.

Brianna Stronk, a long time resident of East Windsor, says she loves her town and is willing to do everything she can to protect it. When she found out about the casino coming to East Windsor, she felt she had to take measures into her own hands.

"If the town comes out and votes, and they vote in favor of a casino then so be it. But then at least we got to have a voice on something that is so monumental to this little town," Stronk said. Stronk decided to collect signatures for a petition to give East Windsor residents a referendum vote on the casino.

But, East Windsor Selectman Jason Bowsza says the town has already signed a binding contract with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, effectively securing the casino.

"We're acting in what we think is in the best interest in the community. There are going to be those, like in any issue, that would disagree with that but we're excited to move forward." Bowsza said.

The East Windsor Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a request for proposal for a lobbyist who will act as the town's voice during negotiations at the Capitol. It has to go through the public hearing process, it has to go through the legislative committee process, it has to be voted on by both chambers and ultimately signed into law.

Bowsza says a casino will help the town of East Windsor economically with jobs and extra revenue. But Stronk doesn't believe the money would fix the extra baggage that comes along with a casino.

"Prostitution comes with it, money laundering comes with it. Theft comes with it. Drunk driving comes with it," Stronk said.

Stronk says she will hold a public meeting on Monday at East Windsor High School informing people about the effects at casino has on a town. The Board of Selectman will hold a legislative forum regarding the casino Thursday involving their newly chosen lobbyist.

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