Medford, Ore. — Medford officials are responding tonight, to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed casino in South Medford. In a 9 page letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the city of Medford cites issues of fully addressing crime, transportation, and economic impacts as well as alternative locations.
As proposed, the Coquille Indian Tribe casino would be built along Highway 99, where the Roxy Ann Lanes bowling alley is.
One of the concerns Medford cites is that the transportation impacts were evaluated heavily based on rural locations, not urban environments like Medford. The city also cited issues with construction costs, providing information on the impacts of storm runoff and water disposal into Bear Creek, as well as issues of setting a precedent for more tribal gaming in Oregon.
The statement prepared by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is more than 2,000 pages and is not yet public.
A spokesperson for the Coquille Indian Tribe says they are “perplexed and hurt”, that the city would release their comments.
“At this point the draft is confidential and the city is one of the agencies that can contribute suggestions,” Clark Walworth of the Coquille Indian Tribe says, “but it’s really premature to release a one sided critique at this point when the document isn’t even in public yet.”
There is no timeline for when the BIA will release the draft to the public. To see the city’s comments in full click HERE.