On Tuesday, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a Memorandum of Understanding and Intergovernmental Agreement (MOU) with the Tule River Indian Tribe to address environmental impacts related to the proposed relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino to land adjacent to the Porterville Airport.
The MOU also provides funding for County programs and services including road improvements within the County.
"The Tribe has remained committed to ensuring the relocation project is a project that not only contributes to the success of the Tribe, but also to the surrounding community," stated Tule River Tribal Council Chairman Neil Peyron. "The County MOU is a strong reflection of that commitment."
The proposed relocation project includes a hotel, event center and convention space, sports bar, restaurant, buffet and food court, and entertainment lounge. The proposed relocation project will also include a new tertiary water treatment facility and a fire station at the casino site with the capability to assist the City and County on emergency calls.
"The County and the Tribe have benefitted from a productive relationship for many years and we are pleased to have reached a mutual agreement in mitigating the impacts associated with relocating Eagle Mountain Casino," stated Board Chairman Pete Vander Poel. "We appreciate and are supportive of the Tribe's efforts to improve our local economy while also improving County infrastructure benefitting all Tulare County residents."
Tribe and County officials stated they're are excited about the new employment opportunities the relocation project will offer and the positive economic impact the relocation project will have on the Tribe and the surrounding community. As one of the largest employers in the area, there's broad public support for the relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino because it will allow current employees a shorter commute time, provide additional employment opportunities and increase tourism in the area, officials have stated.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding and Intergovernmental Agreement, the Tribe has agreed to mitigate all the environmental impacts related to the relocation project, including improving a portion of Teapot Dome Avenue, the intersection at Avenue 256/Spruce Road and the intersection at Highway 190/Rockford Road. In addition to meeting its mitigation requirements, the Tribe has also agreed to pay to make improvements to portions of Westwood Street.
"The Tribe is looking forward to the relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino and intends to continue its long-standing history of investing in the local community," Peyron said. "Securing the support of the County through this MOU will hopefully help fast track the approval of our project."