TGB Moving Forward on New Subdivision at Four Corners
By Joe Morey
The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) has been holding discussions on a possible new community at LCO for working families. At their meeting on Monday, Sep. 28, they unanimously approved moving forward with the project by hiring Coleman Engineering to survey 50 acres of land on the Northwest corner of Froemel Road and Round Lake School Road across from both the new Fire Hall and new Daycare Center for a new Reservation Community that will consist of 20 to 30 homes.
The decision includes setting aside a 10-acre buffer between the new community and Akikindaag and 40 acres for the new home developments. Coleman Engineering would layout roads and lots.
According to Jason Weaver, LCO Grants Department, once the layout is complete, it will be forwarded to the BIA Roads Department and then infrastructure will be set up. Weaver said the acreage has access to water and sewer already, but electric would need to be put in.
The 50-acre section could fit up to 40 homes but the TGB decided on less homes so that each had a large enough lot with plenty of space between them. Weaver noted the lots would be big enough so that future homeowners could build their own with water, sewer, light and a fire number. This would help them get loans.
The TGB will be moving forward with a plan to build the first four homes in the lot and set aside $500,000 to $700,000 for this purpose. The funds will come from either Enbridge funds or the LCO Financial Services monthly distribution. They haven’t decided yet.
Weaver said they will also look at Indian Community Development Block Grants for the infrastructure costs.
The TGB also discussed who these homes would be intended for. They said the purpose would be for families who make too much annually to be in LCO Housing. They would be designated as rent-to-own homes with a flat rental rate for all the homes. The rent wouldn’t be based on income.
TGB Member Glenda Barber said the Tribe is looking at hiring a property manager who would oversee the rental units, which may eventually include the two recently purchased homes from American Homes for quarantine purposes once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
Barber said there is a real need for more housing at LCO for our workforce. She noted so many of our workers live as far away as Ladysmith and Spooner and drive to work every day.
According to Coleman Engineering, they will have the topographic survey services completed by November 15 and then two subdivision layout options will then be provided by Dec. 1.
If a layout option is chosen by Dec. 8, they will have the preliminary road design by Dec. 20 of this year.