TGB Approves $1,200 Stimulus Payment to Membership from ARP Funds
By Joe Morey
The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) unanimously approved a $1,200 stimulus payment to every adult tribal member nationwide, an increase of $200 from the previous CARES Act stimulus. Adults include all enrolled LCO Tribal members who will be 18 years old on or before December 31, 2021.
Two weeks ago, the Tribe received $39 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to address the Covid Pandemic and its effects on the Tribal Community. The TGB is currently holding meetings to discuss where best the funds would serve the Membership and are planning a series of surveys to gather input from the Membership. In the meantime, the TGB will soon be distributing a direct payment to all the members.
There are just over 7,000 adult tribal members which will result in approximately $8,400,000 expended from the ARP funds.
LCO Accounting Dept. CFO, Dulcie Wolfe, said there was a lot of returned payments in the last round due to wrong addresses in the Enrollment Department, but said that since then, many tribal members have been actively updating their current address and she believes the payment will go much smoother.
Every Member will be required to fill out the application as in the first stimulus round. The revised application will include a checkbox option to "Pick up" or "Mail" the check. It's also been suggested to have the first two distribution days reserved for Tribal Elders 65 years and older.
LCO TGB member Glenda Barber said the whole council supports getting this payment out as soon as possible and that it is not tied into the current Tribal Election in any way.
"We realize our people are struggling and they need this stimulus now, not later because of an election," Barber stated.
The stimulus is effective immediately and will be distributed as soon as all the details can be worked out.