Broken Arrow Mayor Vows to Withhold Sewer Service, Fire Protection for Casino
Tuttle, D Ray, THE JOURNAL RECORD
The city of Broken Arrow will not provide sewer service or fire protection to the Kialegee Tribal Town casino until the tribe provides more information about the structure, Mayor Mike Lester said Thursday.
Sentiment against the building of a tribal gaming casino continues growing in Broken Arrow and across Tulsa County.
The Kialegee Tribal Town, part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is a sovereign and federally recognized Native American tribe based in Wetumka. The tribal jurisdictional is bounded by Hughes, McIntosh and Okfuskee counties. The Kialegee last month launched construction of the casino on Indian property at the southwest corner of S. Olive Avenue (129th East Avenue) and W. Florence Street (111th Street), north of the Creek Turnpike. The site is near the Tulsa Technology Center's Broken Arrow campus.
Calls to the Kialegee Tribal Town seeking comment were not immediately returned Thursday.
Lester and the Broken Arrow City Council this month voiced opposition to the casino.
"The close proximity to the school, the issue with the value of peoples' homes nearby and the city has to access its resources - dealing with traffic issues and having to widen roads before we had those widening projects scheduled," Lester said. "Things like that take funds from other parts of the city."
Broken Arrow officials understand the city had no control over the property, which is Indian-restricted land, Lester said.
"I just did not think they could build on a casino there," Lester said. "It took me by surprise."
The city must provide water to the casino, but will withhold connecting sewer service until it has seen detailed plans, Lester said.
"We just do not know the size of the building, so we do not know the impact it would have on our sewer system," Lester said. "We are going to require they meet the same criteria of any development. And until that happens we will not provide it."
Lester did not offer an opinion about whether the casino would be moved to another location.
"I quit speculating a long time ago as I thought they could not build one there to begin with," Lester said. …