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Blue Lake Rancheria of California

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A contract to provide water and sewer services to a major new Indian casino could provide the link to the rancheria the Blue Lake City Council is hoping for. The rancheria plans to open that casino next fall. City officials said a council vote gives the city an opportunity to establish a legally binding relationship with the rancheria which has 48 members, most of Wiyot descent, and is accountable only to the federal government, not to state or local officials. City Manager Duane Rigge recommended approval of the contract for the $17 million, 44,500-square-foot casino. "e;Since there's no way to stop the casino, the city ought to use the water and sewer to get some of the things we want written in stone," said casino critic Kit Mann, who has lived in the area since the 1970s. "e;Whatever they come up with, that's what we'll live with. The rancheria has said that they want to buy land and expand. They could do anything they want with that land, and that's scary." The tribe and city said the contract is a good deal. The city gets a legal link to the casino and the rancheria, while the rancheria saves money by not having to furnish its own utility service.