Tribal Statement Regarding $10 Million Allocation Under CARES Act
Despite the State’s “Stay at Home” order being struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Tribe’s State of Emergency Resolution is still in effect until June 15, 2020. The Resolution suspends non-essential travel by tribal employees and enforces temporary work restrictions. We encourage everyone to take precautions when going out in public in order to provide for the well-being of Lac Courte Oreilles community members and employees. The Tribal Governing Board is working closely with and coordinating efforts with other Tribes, State, County, CDC, and Federal agencies as well as Program Directors to work on plans to safely open the Tribal Entities and Services when the time is right.
The Tribal Governing Board is happy to announce that through several coordinated efforts we have recently received $10 million dollars as our share of the Tribal allocation under the CARES Act. The funds have been allocated to our Tribe for expenditures incurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is latitude on how the Tribe can spend these funds, they still must be expended in the next seven (7) months with the intent of covering costs for response, planning and/or prevention to the current and future effects of the pandemic.
Currently, the Tribal Governing Board is working with internal departments to generate priorities and the methods necessary to properly account for the funds to keep expenditures in compliance with the award intentions. Soon we will be announcing the priorities and the spending plan for these funds. We are excited to report that there are several projects that can be accomplished with this funding and can enhance the services to Tribal members. Further, we see opportunities with this funding to enhance the Tribe’s ability to prepare for and prevent not only health and economic, but cultural harm caused by potential future pandemic response.
In addition to these funds, the Tribe was awarded funds through the Payroll Protection Program for our enterprises to get members back on payrolls. This should help ease the distress caused by business interruption caused by the COVID19 pandemic. These funds are required to be used as 75% for payroll and 25% for overhead of our Tribal Enterprises. This funding must be spent for these purposes.
Several other departments, including but not limited to, the Tribal schools, Housing and the Health Center have also applied for federal grants that were designed to help Tribal programs offset expenditures caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. With these added relief funds, we have been able to acquire some added assistance for writing the available grants for these areas to provide more services to the community and our members during these trying and uncertain times.
Allowable costs for these grants depend on each individual grant and the Tribal Governing Board is working closely with all departments to formulate spending plans for these funds. Accounting will be developing new funds and line items for these funds to ensure transparency and accountability.
We are committed to keeping Tribal Members and Tribal Departments informed. We will exercise full transparency throughout this process to ensure full compliance with the purpose of the funds. We continue to provide food baskets every week to 40 Tribal Members in need with the assistance from donations from Hayward Food Shelf, Feed My People, Ruby’s Pantry, Chippewa Valley Bank, LCO Elder’s Association, Food Distribution, and numerous volunteers that make this happen. If you are in need of a food basket, please call the Tribal Office.
Chi Miigwech and stay safe!