Mathews fifth member of casino boardPublished 9:02pm Monday, January 14, 2013
Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Fred L. Mathews will be the fifth member of Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Dowagiac casino revenue-sharing board.
Dowagiac Board of Education held a special meeting Monday night at the middle school to meet today’s deadline to participate in an interlocal agreement to create the local revenue sharing board for the Class III gaming facility opening this year on M-51 South in Pokagon Township.
Across town, Dowagiac City Council confirmed Mayor Donald Lyons as a member, with City Manager Kevin Anderson as alternate.
Lyons and Anderson said the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on Dec. 3, 1998, entered into a compact with the State of Michigan and the federally recognized, sovereign Potawatomi Indian tribe of Michigan and Indiana providing for conduct of casino gaming.
That compact spells out the city, Cass County, Pokagon Township and the tribe qualify for seats on the revenue-sharing board, with Mathews as the fifth member representing Dowagiac Union Schools, Cass District Library, Lewis Cass Intermediate School District and SMC as vested taxing entities.
The tribe’s real property in Pokagon Township was taken into trust June 10, 2008.
Federal services were restored to the tribe on Sept. 21, 1994, in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House with President Bill Clinton.
Supt. Mark Daniel said Hartford Public Schools received about $311,000.
“That facility is about twice the size of what’s coming here,” Daniel said.
“I believe (money is disbursed annually) in October,” Daniel said, “so there may not be any proceeds this particular year because of start-up costs.”
President Michelle Helmuth-Charles, Ruth Ausra, Larry Schmidt, Julia Smith and Claudia Zebell joined in the 7-0 vote for Beth Davis’ motion, supported by Ronda Sullivan, for the proposed interlocal agreement.
Debbie Heeter, assistant to the superintendent, administered oaths of office to Schmidt and Ausra, elected in November.
The school board also made Davis secretary and Smith treasurer. Sullivan remains vice president.