Kern County has proposed a 20-year, $218 million deal with the Tejon Indians to provide fire, law enforcement and other services at the $600 million casino and hotel the tribe and Hard Rock International plan to open half an hour south of Bakersfield.

The deal, set for a vote July 23 by the county Board of Supervisors, would include $13.3 million in one-time payments to help build a new county fire and sheriff's substation near the project's proposed 306-acre site in Mettler, as well as paying for a new deputy-sheriff training academy and new equipment.

Recurring payments under the proposed agreement would cover nine new county fire positions; 13 new sheriff's department positions; a gambling treatment program; money for gradual replacement of equipment at the new substation; and ongoing contributions to the county general fund based on a 6 percent hotel-room occupancy tax.

Approval of the deal would represent a milestone in the tribe's and Hard Rock's plan to open a 165,500-square-foot casino and 400-room hotel with 13 restaurants, an entertainment venue, a spa-fitness center and convention space northwest of South Sabodan and Wild Flower streets. The project would also include a 22-acre RV park, as well as tribal administrative offices, a health care facility and housing.

A three-page summary of the proposed deal, released by the county Thursday morning, reiterates previous estimates the casino-hotel project is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, with a projected annual payroll of $60 million.

It adds that the project contains a local-hiring provision encouraging the hotel-casino's operators to make sure at least half its employees come from local communities.

Because the project is a tribal project exempt from paying taxes, the summary states, the purpose of the proposed agreement is to compensate the county for providing law enforcement, fire protection and emergency services at the site.

The deal would expire after 20 years and could be renegotiated then.

(6) comments

Athena Bragi

So we are going to pay 13.3 million upfront to build Fire station, substation, gamblers treatment center, etc. Just to start building but what about staffing and salaries and benefits and cost of living increases? The County does not take care of County Employees now or in the past - what is to make us think that they will in the future? 218 million in over 20 years....


And we get what now for what is currently there? Finally a positive that doesn't involve Chevron and people complain. And trust me I usually dislike Indian casinos because they are often built on beautiful land, such as Santa Ynez, but this would be on the soil worn area that people rush past to get to somewhere cleaner. So kiss the stars thank you .


So let me understand this, the County Board of Supervisors outlawed marijuana dispensaries stating in part they did not want to see more impaired drivers on the road. Now they're talkin about spending Millions of dollars and putting hundreds if not thousands of impaired drivers on the road. Next time, maybe tonight, that an innocent person dies by a DUI driver, no one has ever died under the influence of marijuana. Nice job board.


I think the county is getting $218 million over twenty years plus 6% room tax. If not the tribe can hire their own police and fire departments . No taxes from them, no money or services from me.

She Dee

Does the tribe need help with the issues stated in this article or is Kern County just wanting a way to control things for the next 20 years?

Gary Crabtree

So they get $218M and we get 6% room tax and no real estate taxes plus 2,000 low paying jobs. What a sweetheart deal for them. Talk about reparations.

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