Tribe to Seek Shakopee Sioux Loan and Grant for New Health Center
By Joe Morey
A delegation from the LCO Tribe traveled to Shakopee on Thursday, Feb. 28, to meet with the business council of the Shakopee Sioux Tribe to discuss the possibility of funding a new health and wellness center.
Previously, it was reported the tribe would apply for Joint Venture Funding through the Indian Health Service (IHS) which would fund operations and staffing of the clinic for 20 years, but LCO Chairman Louis Taylor said the tribal governing board (TGB) has decided to instead pursue a loan through the Shakopee tribe.
Taylor said in order to apply for the Joint Venture Funding, the facility would need to be over 60,000 square feet, and on the other hand, a facility funded by a Shakopee Sioux loan would have to be under 40,000 square feet. Tribal officials decided to seek the loan through the Shakopee Sioux tribe because LCO’s needed facility would fall under 40,000 square feet.
The TGB, tribal officials and other members of the community met with a team from the Shakopee Sioux Tribe regarding financing, design help and construction of the new health and wellness center proposed to be located at the corner of highways B and K across from the Sevenwinds casino back in January. At that meeting, Tom Ranfranz, Shakopee Mdewakanton tribal liaison, explained taking the loan through Shakopee, the tribe would pay 6.5% interest over the duration of a 15-year loan.
Ranfranz also said the Shakopee Sioux has an annual $500,000 grant process LCO could apply for each year to help with funding of the health and wellness center.
Chairman Taylor said it will take from six to eight months for the tribe to go through the loan application process, which will need a business plan and a design, but once accomplished, the tribe could have a new health and wellness center in two years.
Chairman Louis Taylor with Tom Ranfranz, Liaison to the Shakopee Sioux Tribe.