The Process
This information was assembled by the City of Ridgecrest and the Developer in order to explain the process that City Council is considering.  It is important that the public understand the range of jurisdiction, the scope of the Council's and the City's power, and the overall process for approving a Native American Gaming Facility.

It is important for the public to understand that this process is the recourse provided to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe by the Federal Government through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  While the casino itself is a business venture, with all the rights and freedoms therein, placing the property into the Tribal Trust is a Federal process that gives the City, State, and Federal governments the right to give input.
  1. 0
    Morbi nunc odi
  2. 1
    Morbi nunc odi
  3. 2
    Morbi nunc odi
The Federal process involves an expansive Federal investigation of numerous elements of the project, including impact and legitimacy.  The process includes two primary steps:
  1. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) Process
  2. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Review

NEPA includes an investigation of numerous impacts, including social, environmental, and economic.  NEPA will include input from the Navy, DoD, and local community.

The BIA review will ensure that the Tribe's legitimacy is considered and they are within their Aboriginal Territory.  This is the only place where this jurisdiction belongs.
The City process involves two separate components:
  1. Municipal Service Agreement (MSA)
  2. Land Sale

At both stages in the municipal process, the City Council will have a chance to review the terms of the agreement and open up the issue to public debate.

The City has the opportunity to develop the specific terms of the relationship with the Tribe through the MSA.

Following the MSA, the City will negotiate the terms of the land sale with the Tribe.  This is a separate process and only available to the City because the Tribe has picked a location that the City can sell.
The State process involves the solidification of a Compact between the Tribe and both the Executive and Legislative branches:
  1. Governor's Letter of Approval
  2. Legislature Concurrence

The State of California extends a Compact to Native Tribes, which increases the likelihood that the Tribe's application will gain Bureau of Indian Affairs approval.

The State process ensures that State provisions are considered during the application process.  While the land will belong to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe once placed in the Federal Tribal Trust, the Tribe agrees through this Compact to terms with the State of California.
Municipal Process
This breakdown includes the two steps the City Council has to approve the terms of the agreement between the Tribe and the City of Ridgecrest
What's in the MSA?
The following is the most current information that outlines what is in the Municipal Service Agreement (MSA).  It is important for the public to understand that this is a living document that continues to undergo refinement until the City Council makes a decision to approve or reject.
The following is the most current version of the MSA itself, followed by a breakdown of the components included:
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
  6. Managing Director
  7. Managing Director
  8. Managing Director
  9. Managing Director
  10. Managing Director
  11. Managing Director
  12. Managing Director
Breakdown of the MSA
  1. Construction & City Codes
    - Project complies with all applicable City general, specific, and community plans, zoning ordinances and design guidelines in effect at the time of development - The Tribe shall adopt the building standards set out in the City's adopted building codes - The Tribe agrees to contract with the City to review construction plans and to ensure compliance with adopted codes - Said review & inspection services shall be provided at the City's normal rates for such services
  2. Mitigation Fees
    - 2% of the project's appraised value and annual payments for police, fires services, & problem gambling. (Phase I fees for the City's General Fund are anticipated to be over $400,000) - The amount will increase over time - All monies are payable directly to the City - No monies are shared by Sacramento - The amount payable is higher than any other city business
  3. Law Enforcement
    - The City has authority to enforce State and local criminal laws on the Trust Lands - The Tribe will donate a police car and equipment for $80,000 - The Tribe and City law enforcement shall fully coordinate and cooperate
  4. Other Development Projects
    - The Tribe shall undertake no new developments that would be inconsistent with the moral climate of the community (no sexually explicit businesses) - If the Tribe undertakes a new business development project(s), it will notify the City at least three months prior to the commencement of construction of the new project. Tribe will negotiate in good faith with the City concerning an agreement for the protection of the Parties' interests and the well-being of the surrounding community
  5. Problem Gambling
    - Tribe will contribute financially to the area - The casino area will have mandated signage and brochures on the subject of problem gambling and addiction help - Staff will be trained to identify problem gamblers - Tribe will work with the Police Dept. to create a Gamblers Anonymous presence in the community
  6. Payment for Future Development
    - If a hotel is built, full Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) will be payable - Additional development: the Tribe agrees to negotiate in good faith with the City to mitigate any negative impacts - Tribe will pay equivalent type existing fees to support community
  7. Allows Gambling Age in Casino
    - Tribe will restrict the age for gambling to 21 years of age (as requested by the City) - Drinking age limit is 21 years of age - Under 21 will be allowed in the food establishments
  8. Employment of City Residents
    - Tribe will work in good faith with the City to employ qualified residents - Projected 144 local hires following Phase I - Training will be provided to local hires

Public Safety

Tribal Statement

  "The Tribe and many other Tribes as well as corporate casinos throughout the United States have private security and surveillance to ensure the safety of their guests and to ensure that cheating and crime do not occur on their property and in their facility. Casinos are also one of the most highly regulated businesses in the United States, dictating the need for a professional security and surveillance team. Many surveillance cameras will cover the entire facility."

Included in Casino Plans

  • City has authority to enforce State & local criminal laws on theTrust Lands (casino & other developments)

  • Tribe & City law enforment shall fully coordinate & cooperate

  • To ensure the regulatory environment is complied with and to ensure the safety of our guests:

    • Facility has a Security team of 20 supervisors & officers

    • Facility also has a Surveillance team of 7 supervisors & officers

    • Team covers entire Facility on a 24 hour basis

Police Chief Statement

 After looking at several comparable communities with casinos, Chief Ron Strand has stated that the key to managing the impact to public safety is determined by the relationship between casino security and the police department.  When the relationship is defined correctly, the Chief says any public safety issues are manageable.
After the MSA
To add perspective, this chart depicts the entire scope of the Tribe's relationship to the governments of the City, State, and Nation.