City reviewing environmental aspects of proposed casino

Galt looking at impacts to drainage, traffic and wastewater

By Bryan M. Gold - Staff Writer

The city of Galt is requesting to be reimbursed for costs incurred while determining financial impacts related to the environmental aspects of a proposed casino that could be built just north of Galt.

Galt City Council members on May 5 were scheduled to approve an agreement with the Wilton Rancheria tribe, however, a decision was not reached as of press time.

The proposed memorandum of understanding calls for the tribe to reimburse the city $27,460 after hired consultants and city staff review potential planning, financial, drainage, traffic, and water and wastewater impacts.

Wilton Rancheria officials want to build on 282 acres north of the city. The southern end of the acreage touches Twin Cities Road and is across the street from the city limits.

A potential casino, hotel, parking lot, restaurant and other facilities, including the tribe’s headquarters, could go on properties bound by Highway 99 to the east and the railroad tracks to the west.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in late 2013 and early 2014 sought feedback on the environmental impact statement for the project. Galt is requesting the funding to cover costs while evaluating that environmental document.

Galt Mayor Mark Crews met with staff of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer during a trip to Washington, D.C., last month. He said federal staff said the city and the Wilton Rancheria tribe should be able to work things out without federal involvement at this point.

“Right now, we’re just trying to determine what the impacts are going to be – the positive and the negative impacts,” he said. “We are making sure that they take a hands-off approach on the casino because the city and the (Wilton) Rancheria are still talking, and we don’t think it’s appropriate for the federal government at this time.”

But the federal government will get involved after the public has a chance to provide input.

“They agreed that the city and the Wilton Rancheria need public input but that they should let us do our thing before they stick their nose in it,” Crews said.

Crews and more than 320 elected and business leaders from the Sacramento region last month participated in the 45th annual Capitol-to-Capitol trip coordinated by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.

This annual trip is the largest of its kind in the nation’s capital.
Posted: May 6, 2015,
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Author: Editor