About 200 people attended a community meeting in Galt on Friday night to address a proposal by the local Wilton Rancheria tribe to build a casino, hotel tower and convention center just north of the city in southern Sacramento County.
Tribal chairman Raymond Hitchcock said the tribe is also seriously considering another site along Highway 99 in Elk Grove beside a partially built shopping mall.
“It’s a very viable alternative, for sure,” Hitchcock said.
The Elk Grove site is already zoned commercial with infrastructure in place, unlike the farmland being considered near Galt, he said.
While many public speakers at Friday’s meeting expressed support for the casino plan near Galt, saying it would bring much-needed jobs and economic benefits, others said they worried it would add to traffic and undermine their small town way of life.
One speaker, Al Baldwin, said he supported the tribe’s bid to build the first Indian casino in Sacramento County – but not in Galt.
“People move here because they don’t want all the hustle and bustle,” Baldwin said. “This is a great idea 20 minutes away.”