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Tribes pitch in to help Salome, Quartzsite, build new facilities
Revenue from the BlueWater Resort and Casino is not just helping the Colorado River Indian Tribes, it is also strengthening and improving other neighboring communities.
The latest examples occurred in September when the Tribal Council approved a grant of $47,000 to the Town of Quartzsite to buy a new modular building to use as a children’s library and recreation center. And in June, the Council approved an even larger grant of $49,239 to La Paz County to help build a new community center in Salome.
Quartzsite officials are designing and building the new buildings but lack the funds to finish the project. Likewise, communities of Salome and Wenden are designing and building a community center to serve their residents, but lack the funds needed to buy and install a proper climate-control system.
Now, with CRIT’s help, Quartzsite will have its library and the Salome community center will have a new HVAC air conditioning and heating system. As part of its gaming compact, CRIT has agreed to distribute 12 percent its annual contribution to the State of Arizona. But that distribution can go either to “cities, towns or counties for government services that benefit the general public, including public safety” or to the State’s Commerce and Economic Development Commission Local Communities Fund. The program is part of gaming compacts all participating tribes signed with the State of Arizona.
Using gaming revenue to help nearby communities like Salome and Quartzsite makes more sense for CRIT because there is more than enough need for help in the area, said Tribal Chairman Daniel Eddy Jr.
“We prefer to keep as much revenue in the local community as possible,” said Eddy Jr. “Quartzsite, La Paz County and Salome were in need and we are happy to be able to help. The new community center will be a tremendous asset for the entire area.”
The new community center broke ground in April.
Quartzsite Town Manager Dan Field approached the Tribes in September writing that children in his community were “paying a high price” because of an inadequate and overcrowded public library.
“When our children learn that their intellectual pursuits and recreation are an inconvenience, it does not inspire them to develop beneficially,” Field said.
“We must inspire children to respect cultural diversity, show reverence for the land and internalize positive values.”
Members of the Tri-Valley Improvement Association, a non-profit organization overseeing the construction of the new community center, expressed delight and surprise when CRIT representatives presented them with a check during a meeting Sept. 21 at the tribal offices. They were expecting a donation of only $45,000, according to TVIA member Teena Conrad.
“Such a generous donation, thank you very much,” Conrad said in an email. The TVIA has since sent a certificate of appreciation to the Tribes.