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At the April 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council, Sacajawea Center Committee Team Chairman Jesse Bender made a motion that the city send a letter to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes thanking them for their interest in the Sacajawea Interpretive Center but kindly refusing their proposal.

In response to news of the Centerís financial shortfall the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes had proposed that the city transfer the Sacajawea Center as well as the land on which it sits to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The form of transfer requested was to designate the property as a Trust Land. In exchange the tribes would take over the running and promotion of the facility. Their plan included possibly incorporating gaming into the operation and envisioned the tribes working together with the city to build restaurants, stores, hotels and motels.

In a written report to the council Bender noted the center and facilities were purchased through congressionally appropriated HUD funding and also had the support of many financial partners. The report stated the Sacajawea Center Team does not believe a transfer of ownership would be in the cityís best interests and may not even be legal. In addition the team did not feel taking such action would be fair to the many people who over the years have supported and become invested in the Center.

Bender suggested the letter include the cityís desire for a continued partnership with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes as well as the hope that a search will continue for ways in which the tribes can become more financially involved in the operation and maintenance of the Sacajawea Center.

Benderís motion to send a letter of refusal passed unanimously.


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