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Council continues to vet casino liabilities

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer

Amid headlining discussions about the sudden closure of Pinney Pool (see related story, this edition), talk about the Timbisha Shoshone casino arose at last week’s meeting of the Ridgecrest City Council.

At the Feb. 1 meeting, City Attorney Keith Lemieux revealed that the tribe had circumvented the process outlined in the municipal services agreement and would apparently forgo provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. Instead, the Department of Interior had granted a fee-to-trust, which would allow the tribe to swap a “mutually agreed-upon” parcel of land, subject to approval by the Secretary of the Interior.

Effectively, the change of course would remove some of the impact studies members of the city had put into place in order to protect local interests.

Complete article: Council continues to vet casino liabilities