We’re not sure how it feels to turn down a $1 million gift. We’re just certain that Windsor Unified School District officials shouldn’t put themselves in a position to find out. That’s how much the Lytton Rancheria is planning to donate to the local school district as part of its plans to build a large housing complex just west of town.
Of course, the project is not without its impacts. The Lytton Rancheria complex calls for 147 homes and a cultural center, which means dozens of children will be heading for Windsor schools. Because the tribe is a sovereign nation, it is under no obligation to pay impact fees and other assessments to local agencies, including schools.
The tribe has used funds generated from its casino in San Pablo to buy 124 acres outside of Windsor to build the housing project. Although the tribe hopes to have the land taken into trust by the federal government, they say the donation is not contingent on that happening. The school board is expected to take up the issue on Aug. 5. The right answer to this million-dollar question is yes.