Written by Lake County News reports
UPPER LAKE, Calif. – The Habematolel Pomo Tribe of Upper Lake moved one step closer to realizing plans for a new Upper Lake casino on Monday with the governor’s announcement that he has signed legislation in support of the tribe’s gaming compact.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s office reported Monday that he signed North Coast Assemblyman Wes Chesbro’s bill, AB 1020, which ratifies the tribe’s gaming compact.
Chesbro’s office said that the legislation, an urgency bill, immediately makes the compact law.
“With the governor’s signature, the only remaining hurdle is to get final approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior, with which the Tribe has already worked out an agreement,” Chesbro said. “The jackpot will be two to three hundred construction jobs for Lake County residents while the casino is being built. When the casino opens, the tribe will create an estimated 145 permanent, full-time jobs with benefits.”
According to Chesbro’s office, AB 1020 enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the Legislature with no opposition, passing off the Assembly Floor 69-0 on May 23 and off the Senate Floor 40-0 last week.
State Sen. Noreen Evans coauthored AB 1020 and presented the bill on the Senate floor.
The tribe’s efforts to work cooperatively with Lake County has earned it high marks from local officials and from state officials such as Chesbro.
“I can’t say enough how pleased I am with the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribal Council for the groundwork it laid to make this project happen,” Chesbro said.
He pointed to the tribe’s entry into a memorandum of understanding with Lake County that ensures the county’s interests are protected throughout the tribe’s project.
The tribe also has a memorandum of understanding with Northshore Fire Protection District, providing much-needed funding for this rural fire district that is suffering from budget cuts.
Additionally, the tribe has set aside more than 55 acres of land to assist with the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction Project, paid for wastewater expansion and funded a half million dollars in road improvements to Highway 20.