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Tribe distributes $3.9 million during semiannual allocation

Scott Csernyik

11/27/2002 12:00:00 AM

Over $50 million in projects throughout Isabella County have been funded with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan's semiannual 2 percent disbursement since 1994.

The latest distribution-which totaled $3.9 million-pushed the total amount given over the past eight years to almost $51 million. The allocations were made public on Nov. 22 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. In accordance with its consent agreement with the state, the Tribe distributes 2 percent of its Class III gaming revenues with local governments.

During this particular disbursement, the Tribe received a total of 386 applications from various agencies for a requested amount of almost $23 million.

Isabella County received about $2 million for 12 projects, including $395,573 to the Commission on Aging.

"The funding that has been provided to the Commission on Aging in the past has proven to be vital to our survival," stated Executive Director Brenda Upton in her request. "The Tribal Council and their genorosity have given us the means to stabilize our services and maintain a steady growth pattern."

Allocations totalling $850,000 to combat, prosecute and reduce illegal drug activity in Isabella County was also disbursed.

The Drug Prosecution and Reduction project received a $400,000 financial nod.

"Over the past several years, the Isabella County Prosecutor's Office has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of serious (felony) drug cases," stated Prosecutor Larry Burdick. "Funding would assist our office maintain our efforts to combat drug activity on the reservation, including the casino."

Burdick said the project is aimed at funding one full-time prosecutor and one full-time legal secretary in teh Isabella County Prosecutor's Office.

Another $450,000 was distributed to the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement (BAYANET) North Team.

About $850,000 was allocated to Mt. Pleasant, including $397,670 to the Youth Services Unit. Phase II of the Broadway Street Reconstruction Project from Crapo to Mission received $157,000 and the High Street Reconstruction and Improvement Project from Eastlawn to Brown streets was given $150,000.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received about $420,000 in disbursements, including $60,000 for K-4 library improvement.