City Council Softens Opinion on Potential South Medford Casino

During the March 2 City Council meeting, Council members adopted a non-binding resolution that expresses a general position of neutrality toward the Coquille Tribe’s application to the federal government to place 2.42 acres into trust for the Coquille Tribe. Placing the land into trust would exempt it from various state and local regulations, and the Coquille Tribe intends on operating a casino on the property if the federal government grants the Tribe’s application.

The resolution supersedes a resolution of opposition that City Council had adopted in 2013 based in part upon a lack of detailed information available at that time about the Coquille Tribe’s proposal.

The decision of whether to place that land into trust is decided by the federal government, not the City of Medford. A decision by the federal government may not be made for months or even years. The federal government is in no way required to adopt or follow the City Council’s non-binding resolution, and the City is not in a position to comment on whether federal officials would choose to give any weight to such a resolution.

The City is having productive discussions with the Coquille Tribe and intends on continuing to negotiate a municipal services agreement with the Coquille Tribe, which would provide for compensation for services (such as first responder services) and other mitigation measures. If the federal government decides to place the land into trust, that would provide the City fair compensation for services provided.

If the federal government decides not to place the land into trust, those negotiations would be moot and local regulations would continue to apply to the property.

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Source: City of Medford