September 19, 2019

Nearly $830K granted in semi annual 2 percent distribution


STANDISH TWP. — As part of its semiannual 2 percent distribution, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe gave away a total of $827,592 to Arenac and Northern Bay counties Nov. 30 at the Saganing Tribal Center.

In this year’s fall distribution, the tribe awarded $579,314 for government and $248,277 for education in the area.

Chief Ronald Ekdahl said the tribe was appreciative to be able to continue to support local schools and governments through 2 percent funding.

“This cycle we were able to donate over $3 million to ensure that important local needs are addressed,” Ekdahl said in a press release. “Since 1994 the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe has donated over $250 million and we remain committed to ensuring that our communities are able to see the impacts and benefits throughout this region.”

Arenac County was granted nearly $300,000. The bulk of the county’s received funding, $120,000, will go toward improvements to Sagatoo Road.

A little more than $50,000 will contribute to the trial court and county building security project, $30,000 for parcel and drainage mapping for the cities of Standish and Au Gres, $30,000 for tax collection software, $20,000 for an upgrade of the security system at the county jail and $20,000 will go toward the expansion of animal control.

The city of Standish received $65,000, $40,000 of which will go toward the city’s master plan update, along with $25,000 for new playground equipment.

Deep River Township was granted $33,000 to go toward turnout gear for firemen, while Arenac Township was granted $20,000 for a drone to aid in search and rescue.

The city of Omer was allotted $17,820 to go toward the resurfacing of West Broad Street.

A grant of $15,000 was distributed to the village of Twining for the purchase of a snow plow dump truck.

The city of Au Gres was granted $11,622 for the paving of James Street and Michigan Avenue.

Turner Township received $6,911 for upgrade equipment for the Twining-Mason-Turner Fire Department, $7,500 for a new window and door at the township building and $3,000 to go toward a lighting upgrade.

Also receiving substantial funds from the tribe were the Standish-Sterling Central and Au Gres-Sims school districts, along with Pinconning Area Schools.

Standish-Sterling Central was granted $96,908. The bulk of the funding, $81,408, will go toward a new running track for the school, while the remainder of the distributed money will fund a new color copy machine, hand-held walkie-talkies and assessment fees.

Au Gres-Sims received a total of $75,816 to go to 10 items, including one-to-one Chromebook computers, alternative education curriculum and K-8 classroom libraries.

During the ceremony, Interim Public Relations Director Erik Rodriguez said the tribe would continue to hold round table discussions leading up to the distributions to allow those interested in applying for grants be able to discuss the process with tribal leaders.

The tribe appropriates 2 percent of its class 3 gaming revenue twice a year in lieu of paying property taxes, per a state compact.


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