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Stilly Tribe hands out checks to local departments
SMOKEY POINT The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians distributed checks for impact monies to representatives of the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office, Fire District 18 and Public Works, as well as the Washington State Patrol, in the Tribes Smokey Point offices Feb. 28.
Stillaguamish Tribal Chair Shawn Yanity dispensed $22,860 to the Washington State Patrol, $46,606.69 to Snohomish County Public Works, $24,000 to the Snohomish County Fire Department, and $41,506.69 to the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office.
Yanity and Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart acknowledged they had previously not seen eye to eye in their dealings with each other, but have developed a good relationship.
One of the tests was whether the Tribe would stand up and put our effort where our mouths were, Yanity said, citing the Tribes consistent support of programs such as the Snohomish County Meth Summit in Everett to demonstrate the Tribes commitment to its surrounding community.
Ed Goodridge Jr., executive director and vice chairman of the Tribe, elaborated that the Tribe wrote its contract so that it would not be required to reserve any of its impact monies for its own organizations, which he explained as one reason why the Tribe encourages groups to apply for those funds.
We were calling people up, actively recruiting applicants, some at the last minute, because none of those funds go back to us, Goodridge said.
State Patrol Lt. Robert Wright and Capt. James Lever both characterized the Tribe as a key partner in their successes in traffic enforcement around the casino, while Yanity asserted the importance of their traffic control.
Snohomish County Public Works Director Steven Thomsen explained that the monies from the Tribe would fund safety improvements around the casino, including additional signage and guardrails on Interstate 5 Exit 236.
Well definitely be applying again next year, Thomsen said. Its a nice to reach out and change your perceptions. This whole experience has been a pleasant surprise.
North Snohomish County Fire and EMS Battalion Chief Joel Smith commended the Tribe for their absence of discrepancies, and even described their impact as beneficial to them. Fellow Battalion Chief Christian Davis thanked Yanity for providing them with nothing but good experiences, as well as the funds to purchase new equipment.
Bart noted that the Tribes monies would fund the hiring of a crime prevention officer at the sheriffs office, while reiterating his goal to keep children off drugs across the county. Reflecting the Tribes tradition of handing out blankets to its partners in community projects, Bart then presented Yanity with a shawl from the sheriffs office.
I see nothing but better things to come, Bart said. Thats a testament to what youre doing.