Thursday, November 29, 2012
Barstow Wants FEDS to Approve OFF reservation Casino
Three city government officials and members of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians met in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to discuss the status of the Barstow Casino.
In talks that have gone on for 10 years, the latest meeting at the Department of the Interior covered the status of both the tribe’s fee-to-trust, which would convert private land to federal title for gaming, and the two-part determination request, which would ensure the project is in the best interest of the tribe and surrounding community.
“The meeting was productive and we hope the Department of Interior makes a determination on the Los Coyotes’ application as soon as possible,” City Manager Curt Mitchell said in an email.
Mitchell, Mayor Pro Tem Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre and Councilman Tim Silva along with representatives from the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians met with Kevin Washburn, the new Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, and other department representatives on Nov. 15.
“The tone of the meeting was positive, and both the Los Coyotes and city summarized the history of the tribe’s application, and the strong benefits of the casino project for both parties,” Mitchell said.
The proposed casino would be located on Lenwood Drive next to the Tanger Outlets and is projected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs in the area.
The tribe emphasized they have been waiting for a federal decision on the project for a long time and both parties also asked the Department of Interior to approve the request as soon as possible, according to Mitchell.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs will render a decision when it sees fit, Mitchell said, and there is no official timeline established.
“We’re wading through the process,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said. “It’s all finished for the final environment documents to come out of the Interior