Windsor explores water, sewer service for Lytton band's tribal housing

For the past decade, Windsor has been on record against a proposed Lytton Rancheria housing development on its border, but more recently town officials have quietly cooperated with the tribe to look at potentially providing the project with sewer and water.

Windsor last year conducted a study at tribal expense to determine if the town has the capacity to serve up to 600 residents on the property, concluding it was feasible if the Lytton Pomos pay more than $5.8 million for hook-up fees and infrastructure improvements.

But providing sewer and water also would require the approval of town voters, who in 1998 passed a strict growth-control ordinance that prohibits the extension of utilities outside Windsor's boundaries.

To convince voters to serve the property, the tribe acknowledges it may have to offer something more in return, such as building Windsor a community swimming pool, a goal that has long eluded the town.

And town officials say they also want to ensure the tribe does not build a casino.

"One of the town's foremost concerns is to secure the guarantee of a prohibition on a casino, or gaming activities on the tribal property," said Town Manager Linda Kelly.

Larry Stidham, the attorney who represents the tribe, said Thursday: "We'd be OK with that."

He said the tribe would be willing to enter a service agreement that stipulates the water and sewer service from Windsor could be used only for residential purposes.

Town staff has been in preliminary discussions with tribal representatives regarding the contents of a written report to the Town Council, including the timing of a potential election and the scope of the issue to take to voters, according to Kelly.

She estimated the earliest an election could be held is June, 2014. "Any discussion regarding an election and ballot contents would take place in an open council meeting," she said.

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