2,000 rally against Belmont Park casino plan

GALT (CBS13) — A tribe hoping to build a new casino and hotel south of Elk Grove is facing a lot of red tape.

The Wilton Rancheria wants to transform Galt’s landscape from a small farm town to a bustling gambling getaway.

There’s a lot of chatter going on in Galt about 282 acres of empty farmland off of Highway 99 just south of Elk Grove.

“If we were to have a casino it’s just going to cause more problems,” said Galt resident Jennifer Wilson.

“For the most part we’ve had positive feedback from Galt residents and business leaders as well,” said rancheria chairman Raymond Hitchcock.

He sees a new gambling getaway, complete with a 12-story hotel, shopping and more. To make that dream a reality, he has to not only persuade the people who live in the area, but also get federal approval.

The process is already two years in the making, and the city appears to be warming up to the idea.

“It is our desire to build a positive and enduring relationship with Wilton Rancheria,” said interim City Manager Steven Rudolph.

But some believe Galt is too small for such a big vision.

“All the people that are going to come out and get drunk and cause accidents,” said Janet Wilson.

Hitchcock argues the economic good outweighs the bad.

“Two-thousand jobs potentially,” he said. “Over 100 full-time construction jobs over 18 to 24 months being built. There’s indirect development spread throughout the community as well.”

Posted: Jan 14, 2016,
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Author: Editor