TRAVERSE CITY — BY BRIAN McGILLIVARY
Grand Traverse County commissioners reached a compromise to facilitate grants from a majority of local nonprofit applicants, a deal that will allow funding from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to flow through the county.
The board will require contracts with nonprofits, reports on grant compliance, and full discretion over how the money is spent — a right previously held by the tribal council.
Several commissioners expressed misgivings about continued involvement in the grant process during a meeting this week, but all but one commissioner voted for the compromise. Some said state concerns over tribal funding came too late to interrupt the process.
The tribe's deadline for grant submission is June 30.
"We're rounding third heading home and all of a sudden the rules seem to be changing," said board chairman Larry Inman. "At least for this round I think we need to do what we can to facilitate it."
Twice each year the tribe grants 2 percent of its revenue from electronic gambling to local governments and community agencies. But nonprofits must apply through a local government. State auditors at the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Department of Treasury told the county they couldn't act as a simple pass-through for grants to nonprofits.
Commissioner Addison Wheelock Jr. argued nonprofits are not eligible for grant money that should go solely to local governments. He alone voted against the compromise.
Assistant County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said the county could make grants to 11 of the applicants under a contract because they would provide services the county itself can legally provide. Cooney nixed applications from the Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, Traverse City's Coast Guard City Committee, Child and Family Services' Helping Children Heal program and SEEDS for a youth conservation corps.
The county will go ahead and forward those applications to the tribe. Cooney said other governments could legally act as fiscal agent for two grants, such as a school district for the Dyslexia Association and Traverse City for its own committee.
Inman said the county will continue to research possible fiscal agents for the remaining two organizations.
Leelanau County's board already sent on its grant applications as it has done in the past, said Chet Janik, county administrator. He said their county has not received any formal notice from the state about its concerns, but the county plans to meet with tribal officials to discuss the process following the current round of grant applications.
TRAVERSE CITY — BY BRIAN McGILLIVARY
FINAL: Beach Bums 4, Rockford 3
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Letters to the Editor: 05/24/2013
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Assumed Names: 05/24/2013
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- FINAL: Beach Bums 4, Rockford 3