Columbus officials and civic leaders on the West Side are still hopeful that a new casino will be built in the old Delphi auto parts plant on West Broad Street.

Columbus officials and civic leaders on the West Side are still hopeful that a new casino will be built in the old Delphi auto parts plant on West Broad Street.

But time is running out for the Ohio legislature, which must act by Feb. 3 to get the issue on the statewide ballot in May. Separate House and Senate committees last week passed almost identical resolutions regarding the issue.

Both chambers are expected to act on them this week, said state Rep. Ted Celeste, a Democrat from the 24th Ohio House District.

"Hopefully, we'll have it all done in time to get it on the ballot," he said.

Ohio voters in November approved a constitutional amendment that requires casinos be built in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati. Although residents in Franklin County voted against the measure, the law mandates that the central Ohio location be built in the Arena District.

Since the vote, there's been a movement to relocate the casino to another site. While Penn National Gaming Inc., the Pennsylvania-based company behind the gambling initiative, has agreed to move the casino, Ohio voters must approve a change in the constitution.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman believes that position must be clearly articulated, spokesman Dan William-son said.

"He thinks that if statewide voters understand that this is a location-only proposal that simply changes the address of the Columbus casino from a location where it was not wanted to one where there has been widespread community input and community support, there is no reason they would vote against it," Williamson said.

Tim Guyton, a member of the Franklin Township board of trustees, said he's attended about a dozen civic meetings in the area and believes others share his enthusiasm for the casino.

"You're going to have pros and cons and you're not going to please everybody," he said.

The proposed casino, to be built by 2012 on 123 acres of land east of Westland Mall, will be an economic-development catalyst for the area, he said.

"It is anticipated that vacant buildings will become occupied, empty lots will be developed and the overall increased traffic in the area will spur further development," Guyton said.