Revenue sharing board awards grants, PILT funds

MANISTEE — The Manistee County Local Revenue Sharing Board awarded several grants to a variety of county entities in the 2018 Cycle II.

There were 14 grant applications that totaled $205,928.79, and the board accepted 12, with 11 applications receiving the full funding requested.

“It’s a great benefit for the local government because the local government saves a lot of money, based on the fact that the various departments have needs that would not have to be put in the budget because they are paid for through this board,” said David Kieft, Manistee County administrator.

The revenue sharing board receives 2 percent of electronic gaming profits from the Little River Casino Resort and distribute it to government entities. The first priority is to award nearly 12 percent of it to public safety grants, then the obligated payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), and then to other or additional public safety grants if desired.

LRBOI made a payment of $960,976 in November, and a payment in June for $737,836.64. The Local Revenue Sharing Board uses the funds to reimburse local units of governments for costs due to the casino (such as law enforcement and emergency services) and to provide PILT revenue. Any additional funds are then divided by the local governments and have been used to provide funding for critical needs in the local community.

Larry Romanelli, Little River Band of Ottawa Tribal Ogema, felt it was very important that the contributions distributed locally have a significant impact in the community.

“We bring revenue in and we’re part of the local community, and we hope to be a good neighbor and a good partner,” he said. “It shows what impact there is. We hope to keep that, and have it increase over the years.”

Romanelli added that the Little River Casino Resort has continued to work to increase numbers, and thanked the management and staff in the resort for working hard to ensure their continued success.

“I appreciate the local community, and everything they have contributed to the tribe,” he said. “It’s a good working relationship and I hope to keep it going in the coming years.”

The largest public safety grant awarded was to the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office to replace the current body camera system. The application, which was submitted by Manistee County on behalf of the Sheriff’s office, originally requested $31,144.70 for 18 new Vista HD body cameras, which included charging and download bases, software and training.

The purchase of nine body cameras were approved, with $15,572.35 distributed.

The first public safety grant awarded at the meeting was a $4,900 grant for the Onekama Township Fire Deparment, to purchase a thermal imaging camera and truck charger. The camera allows the department to improve their functions, with ability to detect fires in ceilings, attics, walls and other locations that are difficult to access.

The camera would decrease excessive property damage due to improved fire locator capabilities, and can also be used in vehicle accidents.

Other grants that were awarded include:

• $11,621 for the purchase of four tasers for the City of Manistee Police Department;

• $14,495 for the purchase of a fingerprint machine at the Manistee County Government Center for the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office;

• $15,032.53 for the purchase of a new salt/sand spreader for the Village of Bear Lake Department of Public Works;

• $5,355.96 that will provide funds to fully outfit the public safety utility vehicle that was awarded through the board in 2017, for the City of Manistee Fire Department;

• $7,000 that will upgrade hoses and nozzles for the Norman Township Fire Deparment;

• $3,280 for the purchase of four carbon fiber air cylinders placed on the engine for use with air packs for the Onekama Township Fire Department;

• $1,984.58 to purchase three portable light towers for the Norman Township Fire Department;

• $12,400 to place a bleeding control station in each school in the county and provide staff training, requested by Norman Township on behalf of the Manistee County Firefighters Association;

• $2,160 to provide funding for maintenance costs for one of two GPS location trackers used in public safety investigations for the State, Sheriffs, Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT); and

• $1,555.02 to replace existing leaking and non-repairable firehouse nozzles for putting out fires for Stronach Township Fire Department.

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