COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Council Bluffs leaders said they’ll go to court to try to stop a Native American tribe from building a casino near their western Iowa city.
The Council Bluffs City Council is preparing to take legal action against a recent National Indian Gaming Commission decision that approved a plan from the Ponca Tribe to build a casino in nearby Carter Lake, Iowa, the Daily Nonpareil reported . Carter Lake is just northwest of Council Bluffs and northeast of Omaha, Nebraska, where officials also oppose the proposed casino.
The tribe has been pursuing the project for about 10 years. Earlier this month, the commission approved a 2007 decision permitting the tribe to build a casino in the area.
“We are going to file a lawsuit,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh. “We feel it would be detrimental to Council Bluffs and the state of Iowa.”
Some council members have said the proposed casino would compete with Council Bluff’s three casinos.
The issue was discussed Monday during a council meeting attended by Carter Lake’s outgoing mayor, Gerald Waltrip, and the man who will replace him, Ron Cumberledge. Waltrip said Council Bluffs and Omaha officials treat Carter Lake like a “punching bag.”
“I don’t recall us ever interfering when Council Bluffs built three casinos,” Waltrip told the gathering.
Cumberledge said he couldn’t understand why Council Bluffs would spend tax dollars fighting a business in another community.
The project is anticipated to bring 1,500 jobs to the area, according to Cumberledge. The proposed casino includes 2,000 slot machines, 50 table games and a 150-room hotel.
“I think it’s a win/win for everybody involved,” said Cumberledge.
Council Bluffs officials said they anticipate having a legal strategy on opposing the casino within the coming weeks.
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com