The city of Ridgecrest could soon become home to a casino and hotel as its disputes with the Timbisha Shoshone tribe have finally been resolved.
The Native American tribal nation has claimed that the city was obliged to sell a property situated on China Lake Boulevard as part of the terms of an agreement for municipal services that the tribe has already had with the city authorities. In order to resolve the ongoing disputes, last week, the city of Ridgecrest agreed to sell the property in question at the price of $5.5. million in return for a two-part construction project on the property.
The first phase of the project involves the development of a casino venue. Then, a second phase is set to follow, with the construction of a hotel and some amenities related to the project. The settlement between the two parties guarantees that Ridgecrest authorities would get a certain increase to the mitigation revenues as part of the modifications made to the underlying Municipal Services Agreement.
Under the agreement, the revenues, which include a $13-million revenue increase, would be guaranteed to the City even in case the Timbisha Shoshone tribe does not build the second phase of the project.
New Municipal Services Agreement Would Bring $30.2 Million to Ridgecrest in Twenty Years
The newly-agreed settlement of the previously ongoing disagreement makes sure that in case that the Native American nation does not complete the second phase of the project by year three, its yearly minimum mitigation payment is to be boosted to $819,000. In addition, the Timbisha Shoshone tribe’s annual critical services payment would increase to $388,000, which makes the overall revenue that the city could receive by the tribe at the start of the fourth year up to $1.2 million. The amount would rise even more when the additional anticipated taxes for transit occupancy are included.
Also, as part of the agreement, the mitigation payments for the first and the second phase of the project are reduced from 2% to 1.899% as part of the agreement for the removal of fire service obligation. It is also set to make sure that the Tribe will bear responsibility for negotiating for fire services of its own with Kern County.
The total revenue that the city of Ridgecrest is expected to receive over the 20-year-term of the Municipal Services Agreement amounts to $30.2 million.
As mentioned above, in exchange фор the money, the City authorities have agreed to sell the property to the developer of the tribe, Global Investment Enterprise Ridgecrest, at the original sales price of $5,500,000. The sale has to be finalized by July 30th, 2020. Also, as part of the agreement, the Timbisha Shoshone tribe has agreed to cease litigation against the city, including the collateral claims filed against Ridgecrest by China Lake Properties.
The newly-announced agreement has made it possible for the casino project to move forward.