ROSSFORD, OH (Toledo News Now) - Hollywood Casino is just days away from opening. Even though its technically in Toledo, neighboring Rossford said it is dealing with just as much, if not more prep work.
Rossford Police said they originally thought of the casino as a "Toledo problem." However, that changed quickly.
If a person stands on the edge of Rossford, he or she could see the casino just a few hundred feet away. Rossford Police said that is why they have been working overtime to get their community ready.
Judy Sikorski has lived in Rossford her whole life. She was originally skeptical about the casino moving in next door.
"When I first heard about it, I just wanted to, I wanted to wrap my arms around my little town and say, 'Keep away. Don't do us no harm,'" said Sikorski.
Sikorski said she has come around mostly because of the work her community has done to prepare.
"I don't think there's any choice here at this point. I think we are ready as much as we could be. I think the realization is they're right on top of us and they need us," said Sikorski.
Police said they are still tying up loose ends. They just put the final touches on an agreement with Pilkington Glass Company that allows them to use their lot as an overflow for casino parking. Police are also sorting out how officers should handle traffic and make sure children can safely walk to school.
"Being that they're right on our doorstep, you know, to our community, and on the state route, that is actually our main drag through town. We're in a situation where it is going to directly affect Rossford, as far as the residents and the businesses, probably more so than the city of Toledo," explained Rossford Police Chief Glenn Goss.
Rossford Police said although the casino has been a good neighbor so far, all the extra work is straining their department.
"There is an added burden to a police department our size. We're a small community, small police department. Financially, we're taking on some expenses that we didn't have planned originally," explained Goss.
Police are hoping the casino will benefit the community enough to make their work worthwhile.