The Barona Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and other representatives from the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee, recently announced local recipients of more than $1.7 million in grants from Tribal money paid into the State Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund. Since 2003, the nearly $29 million in grants have helped improve neighborhoods throughout San Diego’s East County.
This year, the committee reviewed grant applications from throughout the county and selected 18 local communities and public safety projects to fund for a total of $1,706,190.16.
“The Barona Band of Mission Indians is honored to work with Sycuan to fund these important projects for the improvement of the San Diego community,” said Clifford LaChappa, Tribal Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. “We are proud that these funds go to projects and services that make a difference for the entire community.”
After assessing the needs of local communities and the recommendations of the Indian Gaming Local Benefit Committee, the following projects were selected:
County #1: HHSA Aging and Independence Services - $248,737.16
County #2 Department of Parks and Recreation - $9,597
County Sheriff #3: Law Enforcement on Tribal Lands - $74,456
County Sheriff #4: Fingerprint Reader (Lemon Grove, Santee, Ramona) - $7,962
County Sheriff #5: Fingerprint Reader (Valley Center, Alpine, Rural) - $7,962
El Cajon #7: Police Department Vehicle Replacement - $12,078
El Cajon #8: Washington Avenue Speed Feedback Signs - $35,000
Alpine Fire #9: Fire Apparatus Replacement - $127,801
SD Rural Fire #10: Fire Apparatus Replacement - $27,500
North County Fire #11: New Advanced Life Support Ambulance - $62,771
County #12: HHSA Child Welfare Services - $100,000
County #13: County Fire Authority Fire Engine Acquisition - $287,500
County #14: DPW Wildcat Canyon Rd Centerline Enhancements - $87,500
Deer Springs Fire #15: Fire Command Vehicle Improvement Project - $69,200
San Miguel Fire #19: Incident Command Response Vehicle - $45,000
El Cajon #20: Wells Park Outdoor Exercise Equipment - $13,800
Grossmont District #21: Grossmont Hospital Heart and Vascular Center - $289,326
County #23: DPW Dehesa Road/Sycuan Road Signalization - $200,000
“Sycuan is proud to partner with Barona to help fund these critical projects,” said Danny Tucker, Chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. “Through our tribal contributions back to the community, the residents of San Diego County can feel safer and more secure, while enjoying better social service and health care programs.”
The members of the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee include San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, Sheriff Bill Gore and County Chief Financial Officer Don Steuer. Tribal representatives on the committee include Clifford LaChappa, Tribal Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians; Sheilla Alvarez of the Barona Band of Mission Indians; and Adam Day of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
“It’s key that the money was again returned back to the region for needed improvements across East County, including new fire engines, traffic safety measures and health care services for the elderly,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “While tribal casinos are a huge economic engine, these improvements are also aimed at cushioning their impact.”
The Special Distribution Fund was created after California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1A, an amendment to the California constitution which authorized the State to enter into compacts with Indian Tribes for limited forms of gaming, in March of 2000. The compacts require tribes, which were engaged in gaming in 1999, to pay into the Special Distribution Fund. During the compact negotiations, Barona and Sycuan worked together to ensure that a portion of the money the Tribes pay into the fund would be used to directly benefit San Diego County.