August 20, 2019

Tribe grants $750K for community projects in spring 2% distribution

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STANDISH TWP. — As part of its semiannual 2 percent distribution, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe gave away a total of $747,478 to Arenac and Northern Bay counties Friday, May 31, at the Saganing Tribal Center.

The distribution awarded $523,234 to local governments and $224,243 for education.

“The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe has the unique and wonderful opportunity to help in alleviating needs felt by our local governments and schools through 2 percent distributions,” Chief Ronald Ekdahl said in a press release. “The benefit this funding brings to our communities is felt by so many here in Isabella, Northern Bay and Arenac counties. We continue to collaborate and communicate with our local partners to make our communities a better place to live.”

The Arenac County government was granted more than $382,000, with $145,000 going toward the acquisition of the Arenac County Fairgrounds.

Of the remaining balance $123,517 will go toward the paving of Sagatoo Road; $38,000 toward an upgrade to its master and community recreation plans; $30,000 toward the drainage district, parcel mapping and website maintenance; and $25,000 toward the final phase of the jail security upgrade project.

The village of Twining received $22,300 for the installation of insulation and a new heating system in the Department of Public Works building.

The city of Au Gres was granted $17,660 to go toward the construction of a farmers market pavilion at the Harbor Park property, along with some picnic benches.

A grant of $10,000 was given to Mason Township for improvements to Black Road and Conners Road, along with $5,000 that will go toward a veterans memorial.

Au Gres Township received $10,500 to go toward its Linwood Cemetery gate project.

A grant of $10,000 was given to Standish Township and will go toward the newly established Arenac Community Center.

Deep River Township was granted $5,929 for the purchase of turnout gear for firemen.

Turner Township received $5,000 that will go toward the township’s road improvement fund.

Whitney Township was given $5,000 for the replacement of a water meter at the Sims/Whitney water plant and to fund a lead abatement project.

The city of Omer received $3,300 for the installation of drain tiles at Wall and South Michigan streets.

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

Standish-Sterling received a total of $100,056 from the tribe, $93,606 of which will go toward the replacement of the SSC track while the remaining $6,450 will be used to purchase band instruments.

Au Gres-Sims was granted a total of $61,785 to go toward 14 items, including the school’s dual enrollment program, elementary classroom libraries and a Power Up for Reading program through the elementary library.

During the ceremony, interim Public Relations Director Erik Rodriguez said the tribe would continue to hold roundtable discussions leading up to the distributions to allow those interested in applying for grants 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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