The Colville Business Council has voted to spend $40 million to build a new administration building on the Colville Indian Agency campus near Nespelem.
The vote was taken March 7, with half the 14 tribal council members present as the resolution passed on a 6-1 vote.
The resolution called for the council to borrow the $40 million from the tribes’ “50 percent sustainable fund” of what is called the Qwam Qwmpt Plan for uses of the funds remaining after distributing half of a $193 million federal settlement to tribal members.
CBC members voting for the new administration building were Mike Finley, Ernest Brooks, Billy Nicholson, Joe Somday, Brian Nissen, and Richard Swan. Darlene Zacherle voted against the measure.
The current tribal headquarters building has been condemned for some time, and tribal offices are sprinkled all over the agency grounds. Constructing a new administrative building would consolidate services for employees and members, and save on maintenance of substandard buildings, supporters of the move argue.
Some critics call it an extravagant move, some suggest spending a lesser amount.
The repayment money would be returned to the Tribes’ sustainable fund. That fund currently has $48.25 million in it, which would leave $8.25 after financing the new building.
The resolution read: “Therefore be it resolved, that a plan for self-financing shall be developed based on a repayment period of 30 years or less at the prevailing market rate of interest. Be it further resolved that upon passage of this resolution the executive director shall commence all activities necessary to complete the development of the administrative building. Be it further resolved, contracts for general contract management for this project shall be in place by June 28, 2013. Be it finally resolved that the chairman or designee is authorized to sign any related contracts or any other related documents.”