The Board of Supervisors of Santa Barbara County will be considering a contract this Tuesday between the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s department based on the new alcohol sale expansion that the tribe will be offering at the Chumash Casino Resort. Public safety services are being considered based on the increase in sales.
The Board of Supervisors will read over the contract early this week, according to LompocRecord.com, and consider the option to approve and authorize the contract which has been set at a time frame of five years. The contract will see the tribe having a new full-time deputy sheriff on site at the casino to patrol the valley as well as a full-time community resources deputy.
It was about a year ago that the tribe applied to have their liquor license expanded, so sales could be made on the casino floor and within the showroom of the venue. The casino was given an interim license to be able to offer such sales.
Board officials feel that the alcohol expansion does not just affect the tribe but also the valley. One member of the Board of Directors, 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr, was not in approval of the request, even going so far as to file a protest in writing to the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. This was also done by Sheriff of Santa Barbara County Bill Brown.
Both officials were concerned about the potential for the area to be impacted negatively, from public intoxication and drivers under the influence, as well as the safety and well-being of those in the community. The Sheriff wants to ensure that the proper prevention measures and enforcement programs are in place to be able to mitigate the impact of the alcohol expansion on the community.
Protest hearings are set to take place based on the license expansion by October’s end. Reportedly, if the board decides to approve the contract that will allow for enhanced public safety, then Farr and Brown will remove their written objections in the matter.
A proposed mitigation program has been created that would see the casino adding the two contract deputies and also the purchase and operating cost of two patrol cars that are marked and outfitted for the sheriff’s department. Equipment will also need to be purchased for the law enforcement officers. The tribe would purchase the vehicles at a cost of around $130,000 and the equipment as well which will cost around $11,000. A staff report has the initial cost for the new additions in public safety to be around $360,468, including the cost of vehicles as well as operating costs.