On Tuesday, the Porterville City Council unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tule River Tribe to address environmental impacts related to the proposed relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino to land adjacent to the Porterville Airport and to fund City programs and services.
“We are pleased to have unanimously passed this agreement which is beneficial to both the City and the Tribe,” said Mayor Martha Flores. “This agreement will help the Tribe to relocate its casino, create new jobs for the community, and ensure that the City’s vital resources will not be negatively impacted.”
The relocation project is proposed to include:
250 room hotel
29,000 square feet of convention space
Banquet hall and meeting space
Sports bar, restaurant, buffet and food court
1,700 seat entertainment center
The proposed relocation project will also include a new tertiary water treatment facility, which will provide several benefits to the City including reducing the City's potable water use, and a fire station at the casino site with the capability to help the City and County on emergency calls.
“The benefits of this project are numerous,” concluded Mayor Flores. “It will draw more people into the community and make Porterville a destination location.”
More than 1,100 construction workers will be created to construct the project and another
1,000 new permanent jobs will be created at the casino and hotel as well as all of the ancillary businesses such as gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants in the surrounding communities.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Tribe will pay a portion of roadway improvements on Teapot Dome, Scranton, West, and Westwood streets and will construct other improvements prior to opening day. In addition, the City will receive an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) of nearly $1 million annually from the Tribe. PILOT payments can be used to fund projects and initiatives benefitting the local community, including added fire protection equipment and trucks, mutual aid enforcement services, and traffic, roadway, and maintenance improvements.
“The City has been a great partner in this endeavor,” said Tule River Tribal Council Chairman Neil Peyron. “We believe that the proposed casino relocation will benefit our Tribe and tribal members, customers, employees, as well as the local community. This project has been years in the making,” said Chairman Peyron. “Today, we are one step closer to that dream becoming a reality.”