Isabella County Board of Commissioners Approves Saginaw Chippewa Reservation Boundaries Settlement

From the Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun (an excerpt):

Isabella County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to a settlement in the lawsuit filed by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

Following in the footsteps of the federal government, the state, the Tribal Council and the city of Mt. Pleasant, commissioners agreed to the the settlement in a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner John Haupt dissenting.

Citing the Tribe’s planned water park on east Pickard Road, Haupt said he is concerned that the county will have to foot the bill for the infrastructure for the project,

which he said will also contain restaurants that could put existing eateries out of business.

Essentially identical to the settlement approved by the Mt. Pleasant City Commission on Monday, the agreement provides for cross-deputization of city and state police officers, and Isabella County Sheriff’s officers.

Tribal Police officers have historically been deputized but state, county and city officers have not been cross-deputized to enforce Tribal and federal law.

The agreement calls for thos officers to begin enforcing those laws and gives the Tribe jurisdiction over Tribal members and other Native Americans within the boundaries of the Isabella Reservation, which includes Deerfield, Denver, Isabella, Nottawa and Wise townships, and the northern halves of Chippewa and Union townships.

It also calls for the Tribe to create a zoning and land use ordinance within 60 days of the agreement and provides for revenues to the county in the event of future land purchases being put into trust.

Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick outlined the agreement, telling commissioners and residents attending the special meeting that part of the agreement requires the Tribe to make payments in lieu of taxes equaling seven years’ property tax on any future land put into trust by the federal government.