September 22, 2014

More than $685,000 being distributed by tribe this month

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STANDISH TWP. — The Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe has announced that $687,495 will be distributed to Arenac and northern Bay County governments, fire departments and schools later this month.

Frank Cloutier, public relations manager for the tribe, said the total amount of revenue that will be shared is slightly down from November 2012 when roughly $695,350 was distributed. He said the funds will be distributed during a press conference at the Saganing Tribal Center in Standish Township Nov. 22 at 11 a.m.

Twice a year — in May and November — the tribe doles out 2 percent of its class-3 revenue to local communities surrounding its casinos in Standish Township and Mount Pleasant. Cloutier said class-3 revenue is generated through slot machines.

“Every time someone plays, a portion of that goes back into the community,” he said.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the tribe is required to share its revenue per a 1993 Federal Court Consent judgment that set up the semi-annual 2-percent payment system in the state of Michigan. Indian tribes do not pay state taxes.

While the 2-percent total may be lower this round than it was one year ago, it is higher than the May distribution, which was $639,592.

Arenac County was first able to receive 2-percent grants in the spring of 2008, a few months after the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino began operating. According to the tribe’s public relations office, more than $7 million have been distributed to Arenac and Northern Bay counties since 2008.

Of the total amount of funds that have been granted in the area, approximately $4,727,911 has been granted to units of government and fire departments, and about $2,310,267 has been granted to local school districts. Districts that receive grant funds from the Saganing class-3 revenues include Arenac Eastern, Au Gres-Sims, Pinconning and Standish-Sterling.

The deadline for local governments and organizations to submit 2-percent grant requests was Sept. 30. Funding for road maintenance or repairs was a popular request this time around, as Au Gres city, Arenac Township, Omer, Standish Township, Turner Township and the Arenac County Road Commission all requested road funding from the tribe.

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