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Accord Reached On California Casino Expansion

4 October 2002

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the Sacramento Bee: "After months of negotiations, the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians and Yolo County officials struck a tentative agreement Wednesday that reduces the size of a proposed expansion of the Cache Creek Indian gaming casino.

"The deal also requires the tribe to pay Yolo County more than $80 million over the next 18 years to mitigate traffic, air quality and other problems.

"It calls for the tribe to pay for improvements to Highway 16, the only road leading to the tribe's Capay Valley casino, if state and federal funds cannot be acquired to complete those improvements. The deal would reduce the proposed enlargement from 200,000 square feet to 150,000; cut a planned hotel from six stories to four; and allow serving of alcohol -- but only if the minimum gambling age is raised to 21.

"…`We have done the best we could,' said Supervisor Lynnel Pollock, who teamed with Supervisor Mike McGowan in the negotiations. `Now, it's up to our constituents to examine the agreement and see if we've addressed the issues that are of concern to them.'

"…The tentative agreement was reached during talks that were facilitated by former Rep. Vic Fazio, D-West Sacramento.

"…Howard Dickstein, the tribe's lawyer, said he didn't think either the tribe or the county is `completely satisfied' with the terms of the agreement. But he said the deal contains positive aspects for both parties.

",,,The tentative deal drew criticism from Will Baker, a member of a grass-roots citizens group that opposes the expansion. Baker called the agreement `inadequate,' saying it does not address the traffic increases and water problems he believes will be created by the expansion.

"…Under the tentative agreement struck Wednesday, the casino expansion would be reduced by about 50,000 square feet and the hotel would be reduced to a four-story building offering no more than 200, instead of 300 rooms.

"The casino may serve alcohol for the first time. Under the agreement, however, the minimum gambling age at the facility would be raised to 21 from 18 if alcohol were served…"

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