NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer sent an email to News 3 on Monday laying out the next steps that Norfolk, and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, to make the voted-on resort and casino a reality.
The September 24 vote on the casino and resort by Norfolk City Council of 7-1 in approval, means the city and the Pamunkey Indians have entered an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which supports using nearly 14 acres of downtown waterfront adjacent to Harbor Park baseball stadium for a resort and casino.
But what steps must be taken?
According to Filer, one of these next steps includes laying out costs that the Pamunkey Indian Tribe will have to pay for. This includes financially supporting transportation infrastructure improvements, flood mitigation, parking, offsite utility improvements, issues that may be raised with Elizabeth River Trail and environmental infrastructure improvements.
Filer also said Pamunkey Indian Tribe will begin its application process with the Department of the Interior. Environmental protection steps will also be taken through oversight by city staff to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Lastly, the biggest thing will be waiting to see what the Virginia General Assembly will do to make the resort and casino a reality.
A report from the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) will be released in November. Those following this venture, and those like it across the Commonwealth, believe this report may provide some insight into the likelihood of legalized commercial gaming being allowed in Virginia.
According to Filer, a legislative session in the spring will be the determining factor on if commercial gaming becomes reality in Virginia. This would likely lead to the citizens of Norfolk having an opportunity to vote on a local gaming referendum that would appear on the ballot in November 2020.
Slides 17 and 18 from the public presentation on September 10th provide an excellent outline. That presentation can be found here.
For more on the proposed Pamunkey Indian Tribe resort and casino, click here.