The tribe seeking to open the first Indian casino in Sacramento County received a largely positive response Tuesday night from the Galt City Council in the first public discussion of the plan.
"We look forward to tossing it around. It sounds like a go for me, but we'll take our steps," said Mayor Marylou Powers.
The proposal from the Wilton Rancheria is to take 160 acres of farmland into federal trust and eventually build a casino on the site in unincorporated Sacramento County northeast of the city of Galt.
The presentation to the council and a packed chamber in Galt did not offer many details.
After the formal presentation, Wilton Rancheria tribe Chairman Andrew Franklin said the goal is to build a casino comparable to the United Auburn Indian Community's Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.
He said it could bring as many as 2,000 jobs to the community.
Powers said there is a lot to be studied but sounded optimistic that the casino would be a positive for the city.
"It's a good site. It's right off the freeway. It would probably mean jobs for the city. We'd like to think they would buy locally and shop locally," Powers said.
The response was not all positive.
Linda Barz, a Galt resident, said she wanted people to consider the negative impacts. She said a casino would mean more crime, pollution, and traffic.
"It would mean extra money, but it would also mean extra people," Barz said.
Franklin expressed eagerness to work cooperatively with the community.
"I'm here tonight to ask for your feedback," he said.
He said the tribe's primary goal is to be self-sufficient.
"For more than a generation, we've strived to regain the right to look after our own people," Franklin said in a news release issued earlier Tuesday.
He said a casino would generate revenue needed for providing education, health care, housing and social services for tribal members.
The proposed site is south of Arno Road between Highway 99 and the Union Pacific Railroad.
The process of taking privately held in to federal trust requires an environmental review, a traffic study and infrastructure assessment. It can take several years.
Getting state approval would present another significant obstacle.
Franklin said an optimistic goal would be to begin building in five years.
Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269. Follow him on Twitter @NewsFletch.