Grand Traverse Band announces $793,000 in gaming revenue allocations

Ottawa’s Grand Traverse Band and Chippewa Indians (GTB) have announced the latest round of recipients for their semi-annual gambling revenue allocation. The winter allocation will see nearly $800,000 paid out to northern Michigan at local government units. The dozens of projects and organizations that will receive money from the stipend include TART Trails, Michael’s Place, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), Traverse City Fire Department, and more.

Under the terms of the Tribes v. Engler, GTB is required to allocate two percent of its video game revenue to local government units twice a year, no later than 60 days after July 31 and January 31 of each year. According to a press release announcing the latest allocation, GTB will distribute $793,663.69 to 46 different local candidates. This dollar amount reflects 2% of the video game revenue that GTB and its casinos generated in the second half of 2021.

The stipend highlights for Traverse City and Grand Traverse County applicants include:

· $25,000 to the Township of Acme, which requested money to help support a 1.8-mile addition to the TART Trail in Acme. TART is currently planning to expand TART beyond its current Acme terminus at Bunker Hill Road.

· $43,378.24 to the Township of East Bay Charter to pay for the cost of a new ambulance.

· $30,000 to Grand Traverse County, which plans to use the money to support the Conservation Resource Alliance and its “Regional River Maintenance Program”.

· $21,159 to the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department, “to purchase lifesaving emergency response equipment for technical rescue capabilities.”

· Multiple allocations to services from Northwest Education, including $10,800 that ISD will direct to Michael’s Place; $15,000 which will go to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum; $25,000 “to support youth peacemakers clubs”; and $10,000 “to support the Child and Family Services Youth Work Program by working with students from the ACE program and the Northwest Ed Transition Center.”

$36,886 to NMC, to enable the college “to continue to provide academic, social, and community support services to the Indigenous student population and community, both in person and virtually.”

· $10,908 to the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center “to purchase much-needed tools for use at the training center.

· $14,634 to Paradise Emergency Services “to replace extrication tools attached to a reactive motor”.

Two grants to the Peninsula Township Fire Department, including $17,000 “to purchase two thermal imaging cameras” and an additional $3,850 “to purchase an airbag lift system for extrication in motor vehicle accidents and structural collapses”.

· $20,000 to the Traverse Area District Library to fund three projects: installation of a terrain recognition sign in the kindergarten; incorporate Indigenous artwork into 2022 Summer Reading Program events; and “funding the basis of an indigenous book collection/material for their new bookmobile”.

· $17,482 for the Traverse City Fire Department to support the purchase of a LUCAS Chest Compression CPR machine for their newest fire truck.

· $20,000 for the Township of Whitewater Fire Department, to purchase “a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air compressor for their existing cascade system”.

In total, GTB received 47 applications for this round of allocations, totaling $906,199.03 in applications. The tribe was able to fully or partially fund 46 of those 47 requests, for a final total of $793,663.69. The next round of awards will be announced in July 2022.

James V. Hayes