Cowlitz Casino Study Released - Wednesday 19th of April 2006

WASHINGTON – As reported by the Columbian: "A long-awaited study on the proposed Cowlitz Tribe's casino complex advocates building a huge project that would employ nearly 3,200 people.

"The draft environmental impact statement, prepared by Analytical Environmental Services of Sacramento, Calif., details a massive structure near La Center that would cost $510.3 million to build and contain 1.2 million square feet.

"The document continues to dismiss many of the concerns raised by casino opponents, specifically worries that the tribe's project would trigger bankruptcies and spawn crime because of gambling's addictive nature.

"The study is remarkably similar to October's preliminary draft that was obtained by The Columbian but never released to the public.

"…Almost all of the project's features remain unchanged, including a 134,150-square-foot casino that would generate an estimated $415.2 million a year in gambling revenue.

"…The project would create 4,011 temporary construction jobs, with an average salary of $46,200 and a total construction payroll of $185.3 million. Sales tax on construction purchases would generate an estimated $39.3 million. The tribe has agreed to use only union workers for construction.

"The completed project would create 3,151 permanent jobs, with an average annual wage of $28,000 and a total annual payroll of $88.1 million. The highest percentage of employees, 39 percent, would work in the casino. About 18 percent of employees would work in food and beverage service…"

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