(SPOKANE, Wash.) – Greater Spokane Incorporated is disappointed in the recent decision made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to support the Spokane Tribe Casino Project. Although GSI is not against the casino, it is against the location – as longtime supporters of Fairchild Air Force Base (FAFB) GSI opposes any activity that might impair current and future missions on the base.
Because FAFB has already been subject to several rounds of Base Realignment & Closure Commission (BRAC) proceedings and anticipation of a 2017 Federal sequestration will likely lead to yet another round of BRAC, any measures that impede progress or threaten adaptability of the base are of serious concern to GSI.
The proposed development site falls within Military Influence Area (MIA) of the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), which precludes sensitive uses such as hotels, child care centers, hospitals and public assembly facilities.
The base sees approximately 2,000 flights per month, and current flight patterns fly directly above the proposed development site. This presents noise, light and safety issues that would force the alteration of flight patterns, and affect the quantity and times of flights, the amount of fuel used and the expense to fly those training missions. Although alternative locations for this development have been presented to the Spokane Tribe, they have chosen not to pursue them.
GSI is a proponent of growth and job creation, but not if that growth creates encroachment concerns that threaten the 5,700+ jobs already in effect at FAFB. GSI has presented these concerns to BIA several times and now intends to communicate these concerns directly to Governor Inslee.