Tribe hands out two-percent funds, neighbors to the South cash in
$632,804.74 – Chi Miigwetch (thank you)
STANDISH TOWNSHIP — In its third round of two-percent class-three gaming revenue since the opening of the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino, the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe (SCIT) distributed $632,804.74 to Arenac and Bay County municipalities and schools on May 29 at the Saganing Tribal Center.
The largest recipients of the funds, which were a little more than $100,000 less than the last round of distributions made last fall, were the city of Pinconning and Pinconning Township.
The city of Pinconning received a total of $128,479 for park operations, a new police cruiser and the total also included $90,000 for a new city fire truck. Pinconning-Fraser Fire Department Chief Dave Ramsay thanked the Tribe for not only helping out by directly assisting in payments for the new truck, but by donating casino coupons for fire department fundraisers. According to Ramsay, the attendance at fundraisers increased by roughly one-third since the coupons started being donated to give away at fundraisers.
“And that was before today,” he joked during the allocation announcement as he presented Tribal Council with a plaque from the Pinconning-Fraser Fire Department.
As for Pinconning Township, about $135,560 was allocated for a water main extension to the Bay-Arenac county line and the township was also allocated an additional $6,023 for a general allocation.
Back north in Arenac County, county commissioner Ronald Branda accepted a check worth $36,614 for improvements to the county’s central dispatch center and a mobile command trailer requested by Arenac County Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Rohn.
On the East end of the county, the city of AuGres was the recipient of a check for $12,500 to use towards the installation of a non-motorized bike path.
AuGres, Sims and Whitney Townships were all allotted approximately $6,023 for general allocations.
“We have a large project, we want to convert an old quarry into a park and campground,” said Whitney Township Supervisor Francis Semenick. “This will go towards that goal.”
Turner Township also received a generous gift from the Tribe, bringing home $67,023 to pay for a road gravel project, fire truck replacement and a general allocation.
For Standish Township, Treasurer Sue Stein was in attendance and picked up a check for $43,741 for Standish Area Fire Authority search and rescue equipment.
Omer Mayor Alice Sproule brought home $2,500 that will be used to improve the availability of electricity at the Omer park on State Road; and Arenac, Lincoln, Mason, Deep River townships all also received general allocations of $6,023.
Turning towards education, schools in Arenac and Northern Bay County brought home a total of $158,201.18.
“It’s not just a monetary award, it’s a boost for morale for our school and community,” said Arenac Eastern (AE) Counselor Allen Pauly.
AE was awarded $38,468 for books, accelerated reading materials, computer lab upgrades and a virtual high school program.
AuGres-Sims (AGS) was awarded $1,640.75 for an advanced placement conference and was also included with Standish-Sterling Community Schools (S-S) in a $50,000 endowment fund scholarship award to the Arenac County Fund, which will establish educational awards in the future for S-S and AGS students.
“They’ll (Arenac County Fund) use the interest off that ($50,000) to award scholarships,” said SCIT Public Relations Manager Frank Cloutier.
Standish-Sterling also brought home $44,992 for a kindergarten level book bank, interactive project learning systems, fifth grade current events materials, an interactive whiteboard and smartboard system and advanced placement chemistry equipment.
The Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District was allocated $23,100, as well, which Superintendent Michael Dewey said would be used for "Imagination Library," a program that provided students with books at home to encourage reading.