Friday, 13 October 2006 00:38

August Construction Rumors For Buena Vista Rancheria Prove To Be True

Back in August rumors surfaced regarding the Buena Vista Band of Miwok Indians beginning construction on their proposed casino on Coal Mine Rd in the Jackson Valley. The casino project, the Flying Cloud Casino, has been proposed by the tribe and currently the tribe is redoing the Tribal Environmental Impact Report after the county and the Governor found their original report to be inadequate.
This report is required under the National Indian Gaming Act to develop a plan for mitigations that the tribe must provide to the surrounding areas impacted by the gaming facility. Throughout Amador County it was widely discussed that the tribe had hired contracting firms to begin the moving of dirt back on Saturday August 12th According to Tribal Spokesman Ryan Rauzon these rumors were completely false. Rauzon stated on August 11th “That’s all heresay and rumor, speculation and innuendo and none of it is true.” Rauzon however did say that the tribe has approached various contractors and vendors in anticipation for when they will start construction of the casino. Rauzon further stated that “The tribe is following its commitment to work within the compact it signed with Gov. Schwarzenegger. The Buena Vista Tribe is waiting until the compact and the intergovernmental Agreement with Amador County is completed.(to begin construction” According to documents obtained by TSPN a dialog between Amador County legal staff and Buena Vista Tribal Legal Staff has been prolific and ongoing. The letters begin in August when the county notified the tribe that an encroachment permit, as well as, grading permits for any proposed construction were necessary. The Legal Counsel for the tribe, Arnold Samuel then questioned the need for the encroachment permit, or a permit for a driveway to the parcel of land under development, by stating that the tribe had been using the road for decades. The county states this permit is necessary because of the change of usage of the parcel from an agricultural and historical parcel to the development of the casino project. The tribe states that they are using the parcel for a multitude of Tribal purposes, including recreational, residential, governmental, and spiritual visits. Lawyer Samuel accuses the county of Amador of dealing with the tribe in “bad faith” by sending threatening and accusatory correspondence to not only the tribe, but also companies contracted by the tribe to perform services on the Rancheria. Those companies include construction giant McCarthy construction based out Roseville and its sub contractor, Granite Construction. Granite construction has confirmed to Amador County that they were hired to begin work on the weekend of August 12th, as was rumored throughout the community. Even with this revelation the tribe’s attorney, Samuel, contends in a letter dated August 25th the “tribe has no current plans for construction on the reservation, other than construction of a Class III gaming facility that will take place after conclusion of the Tribal Environmental Impact Report process set forth in the Tribe’s Amended Compact.” He claims that, “the construction plans that were imminent in August were not for a large facility- however those smaller scale plans had changed.”