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Shullsburg and Lac du Flambeau ready for new casino

SHULLSBURG, Wis. (WXPR) -- The Lac du Flambeau tribe's plan for an off-reservation casino in southern Wisconsin is moving forward.

The tribe and the city of Shullsburg have reached an agreement on the terms of the 20-acre casino resort complex.

Lac du Flambeau's Project Consultant Joseph Hunt says the agreement indicates the tribe and the city are on the same page. But he says it's one step in a long process.  "The intergovernmental agreement and the development agreement - which we're going to be signing in Shullsburg next week-- are part of the overall application process, so we've still got a ways to go." The next step is finishing the environmental impact statement. That's required to get approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The project would also need approval from the state of Wisconsin. That's proved a stumbling block for the Menominee Tribe's plan for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. Governor Scott Walker has put off approving the plan due to another tribe's opposition to it.

Hunt says the Lac du Flambeau tribe has been paying attention to that situation.  "We know that the jobs, the construction, the economic boost that these casinos provide to these areas are important to the economy. We remain optimistic."

If the casino is approved, the agreement with the city says the tribe will make a infrastructure down payment in addition to annual impact payments.

The environmental impact statement is expected to be ready in July.