(KFYI News) – The Glendale City Council will vote next week on an agreement with the Tohono O'odham Nation that would let the tribe build a new resort, including a casino, on a county island adjacent to the city.
Under the agreement, made public Wednesday afternoon, Glendale would withdraw all official opposition to the project, including withdrawing its appeal of a federal court ruling in the tribe's favor. Glendale would also urge the state, and Arizona's Congressional delegation, not to oppose it, and would adopt a new resolution expressing support for the Tohono O'odhams' acquisition of the property and for the casino.
The Tohono O'odhams, in exchange, would pay for any infrastructure improvements needed in the area to accommodate the additional traffic the resort/casino would generate. It would also give Glendale a one-time payment of $500,000, and annual payments of $1.4 million, which would increase by two percent a year.
Arizona's two US Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, have introduced a bill in the Senate to prohibit the federal government from approving any more casinos in Arizona.
In addition, several other tribes in Arizona, some of which operate casinos elsewhere in the Phoenix metro area, oppose allowing the Tohono O'odhams to establish gaming in the valley.
The Tohono O'odhams recently received permission from the federal government to take the Glendale-area parcel into trust as part of their reservation, in exchange for some land near Gila Bend that flooded several years ago that was removed from their reservation as a result. The tribe still needs further federal approvals in order to establish gaming on the site.
If you want to wade through the 17-page document, visit http://www.glendaleaz.com/documents/SettlementAgreementDRAFT.pdf