No agreement yet for county, PCI

Published 11:38 am Sunday, September 30, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

The Escambia County Commission passed a resolution Friday to abandon a portion of County Road 14 at the request of the Poarch Creek Indians, but the resolution had financial stipulations with which PCI cannot agree.
The road was targeted for vacation after the commission received a request from PCI who is looking to expand operations at the Creek Entertainment Center. The plans include a hotel, casino and resort area that would encompass an area currently occupied by the roadway in question.
An intergovernmental agreement between Escambia County and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians was also included in the road vacation resolution.
Commission chairman David Stokes said the commission understood the sensitive nature of the agreement and resolution and would keep that under consideration.
In the intergovernmental agreement, the county stipulated PCI make an annual contribution to the county.
One section of the agreement called for PCI to commit to making a $200,000 payment over a 24-month period that would begin at the execution of the agreement or until the opening of the new facility. An additional stipulation called for annual payments over a six-year period totaling more than $4 million.
Although officials with PCI initially had little problem with the $200,000 payment to aid in costs of law enforcement coverage by the county, the additional stipulated monies are what’s in question, PCI officials said.
Depsite the disagreement, Commissioner Todd Williamson said he was glad to see talks moving forward by both parties.
Rolin said he would talk with commissioners to try to reach an agreement that would be acceptable for the county and PCI.
Commissioners and PCI officials agreed to set a time to discuss further options in coming to an agreement on both sides. No date for that meeting was set at the time of adjournment on Friday.