FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BIA Confirms No Deadlines on Intergovernmental Agreements for Casino Despite False Narrative of Urgency by Some Local Officials
Kenosha, WI – Despite statements by the Mayor, County Executive and Menominee representatives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs says there is no need for Kenosha County to rush to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Menominee Tribe on a proposed casino. The proposal has been done in secret with city council aldermen, county board supervisors and the public have been kept in the dark.
In response to an inquiry from County Supervisor Laura Belsky, The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has confirmed there are no deadlines for the intergovernmental agreements to be approved for the proposed Kenosha Casino.
“There is no time limit when negotiating an IGA with the Tribe, in some cases, those agreements are entered into once the land is in trust. Also, there is no time ‘bar’ from entering into that agreement. And nothing that says you have to sign at the same time as the city,” wrote Paula Hart, Director of Office of Gaming for the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, in an email response to Belsky.
Kenosha Mayor Antaramian, County Executive Kerkman, and their legal experts have been pushing forward IGAs for the proposed casino that lack critical detail, and they are promoting a false narrative about the need for immediate approval.
During the County’s Legislative and Finance meetings last week, the Menominee Tribe admitted that their market, traffic, and economic impact studies were incomplete. It is imperative that both the City and County table these agreements until those studies are released and the public has been given an opportunity for input.
Despite the overwhelming cries to delay this process from citizens, Council Members and County Supervisors, the City’s IGA is on the agenda tonight, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. and the County’s Agenda tomorrow, November 21 at 7:30 p.m.