Tribal Government & News
Tribal Council approves supplemental budget to buy two properties
By Dean Rhodes and
Smoke Signals staff members
Tribal Council approved a third supplemental budget for 2021 during its Wednesday, June 16, meeting that will allow the Tribe to purchase two new properties – one in Grand Ronde and one in the east Multnomah County suburb of Wood Village.
The $1.455 million budget increase will fund the purchase of the 25.62-acre Risseeuw 3 property that is immediately south of the Tribe’s Risseeuw 2 property at the end of McPherson Road in Grand Ronde.
Tribal Council approved the purchase and sale agreement during its May 19 meeting.
The second property is 0.85 acres located in Wood Village adjacent to the former Multnomah Greyhound Park site that the Tribe purchased in December 2015 for $10 million.
In October 2020, Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy announced that the Grand Ronde Tribe was reassessing the Wood Village property for the possible location of a new casino in light of the Siletz Tribe’s proposal to build a new casino in north Salem.
Tribal Council also OK’d the purchase and sale agreement for the Wood Village property during the June 16 meeting.
The first supplemental budget of 2021 funded a cost-of-living increase for the Elders’ pension program and the second allowed the Natural Resources Department to purchase a new 500-gallon wildland fire engine.
In other action, Tribal Council:
- Approved an amendment to the Burial Fund Ordinance that will increase the benefit from $6,000 to $7,000;
- Approved a revised Leasing Ordinance that will allow the Tribe to assume authority to process and approve leases on Tribal trust lands;
- Approved new transit agreements with the Tillamook County Transportation District for the 60X Coastal Connector route between Lincoln City and Salem and the 70X route between Grand Ronde and Salem;
- Approved a grant agreement with the Oregon Health Authority for eight current grant programs of which only four are currently funded;
- Approved applying to the Administration for Native Americans for a five-year Esther Martinez grant that would fund a teacher and assistant teacher for the planned fifth- and sixth-grade Chinuk Wawa immersion classroom. The grant would bring the Tribe approximately $1.4 million in funding over the five years;
- Approved accepting a maximum of $51,000 from the Oregon Youth Corps to help fund Natural Resources’ summer youth crew;
- And approved the enrollment of one infant into the Tribe because he or she meets the requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.
At the close of the meeting, Council member Kathleen George noted that the Tribe had chosen to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is recognized on June 19.
"That is something we all supported and thought it was the right thing to do," she said. "It is a day of reflection and an opportunity to reflect on the complex history of this nation. Tribal people, especially our ancestors, knew what it was like to be oppressed, minimized and expendable. We have great compassion for the long, cruel road that our African American brothers and sisters have had to travel."
On June 17, President Joe Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday after the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve the measure.
To watch the entire meeting, visit the Tribal government’s website at www.grandronde.org and click on the Government tab and then Videos.