The city of Pasco and
the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have agreed to negotiate
terms for the tribes to pay for police, fire and other services as they move to
develop a casino and other amenities on land in the city.
The Colvilles paid
$10.8 million for 184 acres in early 2019, part of its continuing effort to buy
land in its historic territory, which covers an area from the crest of the
Cascade Mountains to the Continental Divide. The site is north of King City.
The tribes plan to
develop the property for the economic benefit of members and to provide support
services to the several hundred members who live in the Tri-Cities.
The land will be
placed in a federal trust under the auspices of the U.S. Bureau of Indian
Affairs, rendering it exempt from paying the local property taxes that help
support police, fire and other municipal services.
The November agreement
commits both sides to negotiating a deal to offset the city’s cost to provide
those services. The agreement also calls on both sides to share information and
to cooperate on press releases and other public outreach efforts.
The Colvilles operate
the 12 Tribes Resort Casino in Omak, Mill Bay Casino in Manson and Coulee Dam
Casino at Coulee Dam. The Pasco casino could be many years away, but
intermediate plans include a gas station and a water park.
The Tri-City area is
the traditional home of the Palus, one of the 12 tribes that comprise the
The tribes were
consolidated on the Colville Reservation at Nespelem following the Nez Perce
War of 1885.
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