The funds, also known as 2 percent funds, are presented to local units of government twice a year as part of 1994 compact with the state, according to tribal board vice chair and 2 percent committee member Joette Pete-Baldwin.
On Friday, the township received a check for $158,235. The school’s check was for $22,500.
According to Pete-Baldwin, any group, through a government entity, can ask for funds. The 2 percent committee weighs the requests and makes a recommendation to the tribal council as to how the money should be dispersed.
Township supervisor Mike Rogers said the money will be “spent for the betterment of all citizens of the township” on items such as police services. In the past the township has used 2 percent money on water and sewer upgrades, waste management, snowmobile trails and grooming, fire fighting equipment, first responders and fighting invasive species.
Peterson said the school has also used the funds for many things over the years, including equipment for the weight room and sports deck above the gym, basketball camps and other student trips, GED classes and drivers education classes.
“The students are the real winners here,” said Peterson.
Since 1994, the tribe has given out more than $6.6 million in 2 percent funds. Not all the money has gone to Watersmeet concerns.
According to Pete-Baldwin, revenue sharing has gone to West Iron Township to help pay for a Zamboni, to McMillan Township for economic development and to the Bessemer schools for a computer lab.
The tribe will release its second payment of 2 percent funds for 2013 in September.
Besides Pete-Baldwin, other members of the 2 percent committee include: tribal board member Cheryl McGeshick, Patrick Garrison, Marlena Saxon and Craig Mansfield.