August 24, 2009
SAN FRANCISO - A public hearing was held last Wednesday in Richmond regarding the Guidiville Rancheria Band of Pomo's plan to build a $1.5 billion casino resort at Point Molate. The plan includes a 240,000-square-foot casino with a 124,000 square-foot gaming floor, two hotels with 1,075 rooms, 54 luxury guest cottages, a 300,000-square-foot shopping center, 2 parking garages, and a ferry terminal.
The hearing addressed the findings of a 5,284-page draft environmental impact report (EIR) that was released July 10 and followed by a 75-day period to gather public comments. The report was prepared by Analytical Environmental Services (AES) of Sacramento and was conducted by 20 AES engineers and 14 subcontractors. Mike Taggart of AES presented an overview of the findings.
That was followed by public testimony by proponents and opponents of the plan. The majority of speakers favored the plan citing the job opportunities and income for the Richmond area.
The hearing was an important step forward for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) who will determine whether the Point Molate site should be transferred into federal trust for the purpose of building an Indian casino.
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