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Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Yolo County Approve Agreement to Provide Funds for Enhanced Public Safety in Casino Area and Other Public Uses

Date: 2017-04-05
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The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Yolo County (CA) have approved an intergovernmental agreement that will provide the county and others more than $161 million for a range of public uses over the next 22 years. The mitigation agreement is in connection with the expansion of the hotel at Cache Creek Casino Resort and will deliver resources for public safety, local Capay Valley programs, roads, public transit, and the county’s general fund.

Through careful collaboration, tribal and county leaders have agreed to benefits not normally part of such pacts. “We are very pleased and excited about the agreement because it will provide valuable resources focused specifically on important programs and concerns in the county and valley we share as our home,” said Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman Leland Kinter. “This shows how much we can achieve by working together, government-to-government, as partners.”

While mitigation agreements are now mandatory for tribes building or expanding gaming operations, Yocha Dehe has long exceeded what is required. It entered into an agreement with Yolo County in 2002 to the financial benefit of the county and community, when none was legally required. This new deal provides more resources and revenue than even required today.

“This agreement builds upon our previous landmark agreement, strengthens our government-togovernment relationship and further demonstrates the Tribe's deep commitment to our community,” said Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas.

The agreement technically covers mitigation required to minimize or eliminate off-reservation physical impacts of the Cache Creek hotel expansion, and reimburses Yolo County for costs it incurs because of gaming operations. Plus, it provides the county and the local community direct payments for enhancements and improvements that have nothing to do with gaming-related impacts.

Of particular interest to public safety interests, the pact requires the Tribe to pay for two more sheriff’s deputies and vehicles to serve Capay Valley, $20,000 annually for the California Highway Patrol, and $50,000 per year for local emergency and fire service districts

Other elements of the agreement include:

  • Fund up to $5 million in CalTrans road improvements on Highway 16;
  • Further enhance public transit with subsidies and programs (on top of the $1.5 million the Tribe already provides annually);
  • Commit $300,000 per year (nearly $7 million over the life of the agreement) for Capay Valley community-specific projects and initiatives, payable directly by the Tribe;
  • Pay Yolo County $1.5 million within 90 days of the start of construction, plus $6.16 million each year (adjusted over time for inflation) as reimbursement for gaming-related costs and additional dollars for the county’s discretionary general fund;

and other financial benefits. The agreement takes effect immediately upon execution by the parties. Construction of the hotel expansion is expected to begin in coming weeks.

“The Tribe has been a great partner,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Duane Chamberlain. “We look forward to this new chapter in our collaborative relationship.”

“The hotel expansion is going to offer great benefits to our county and valley, generating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs, and serving as an important entertainment asset as our region grows as a tourist destination,” added Chairman Kinter. “It is great to be starting with such a strong, cooperative agreement with the county, focused on delivering important benefits to the local community as well. Everyone wins under our new agreement.”

For full details of the agreement, see the Yocha Dehe Winton Nation’s press release here

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, 4/4/17)

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