Rohnert Park officials prepare for casino growing pains

One day, after the Graton Resort & Casino opens and traffic in the area almost certainly gets worse, the "new norm" will come and it will be different from the present, Sgt. Aaron Johnson told the Rohnert Park City Council on Tuesday.

"Things are going to change; we understand that," Johnson said.

Between the Nov. 5 opening of the 340,000-square-foot casino just south of Home Depot and the time that new norm arrives, this will be what's normal for Rohnert Park officials trying to address the impacts of the opening of the 3,000-slot machine gambling palace:

*Congestion management plans.

*A host of new signs directing people to the casino and away from streets likely to back up with traffic.

*Contingency plans.

*Plans for "increasing levels of deployment."

*A 38-foot mobile command center staffed with officials from three city departments and five other public safety agencies.

How long will the command post and its officials stay in the city, Mayor Pam Stafford asked.

"They'll be there until they're not needed," Johnson said. When they leave, he said, "the new norm" will have become evident.

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