Rhode Island town interested in parcel next to Indian land

Promoters interested in developing a casino in the Rhode Island town of Charleston next to 31 acres owned by the Narragansett Indians have approached the owner of 81 acres.

The owner, a Charleston developer, has offered the town the chance to buy the land to keep it out of their hands since they might be interested in partnering with the tribe.

However, the town says it probably wouldn’t be able to raise the USD 2 million asking price.

At the same time the tribe has denied any involvement.

The tribe’s Sachem, Matthew Thomas last week commented, “We would like to have this property, but the reality is we don’t have this kind of money.”

Although for decades the tribe has been unable to get permission to build a casino because of legislation passed in Congress, the Supreme Court is considering a case that might change that. So the town council is nervous about the tribe acquiring enough land to be able to build.

A member of the town council called the offer, “a shakedown,” to inflate theland’s value.