Wayland ensures fire service for tribal lands

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Wayland City Council unanimously approved an amended contract agreement with the Gun Lake Tribe to provide firefighting services for land held and pending to be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribe.

The Tribe requested an amendment to include additions to the Gun Lake Casino to be completely covered for fire protection, said city manager Tim McLean. The amended contract is now ready for approval by the Tribe.

Once sites are taken into trust by the United States, they are no longer under the jurisdiction of local units of government; therefore, municipal services can be approved or rejected for being outside municipal corporate limits.

The Tribe has properties in fee simple and held in trust in both Wayland Township and Hopkins Township. The City of Wayland has an intergovernmental agreement to provide firefighting services with Wayland Township and a mutual aid agreement with Hopkins Area Fire Department.

One of the parcels Wayland has agreed to provide fire services for is the new Jijak Camp property which consists of 176 acres in Hopkins Township.

Council member Rick Mathis asked city manager Tim McLean to reach out to Hopkins Township to make sure the township was not interested in signing a request for services, although Hopkins was not asked to provide fire services.

“The Jijak Camp is quicker to get to from the Hopkins fire department, which is only a few miles around the corner,” Mathis said. “While they would get there first, they would not get paid and I would like to make sure the township has had a chance to consider that.”

The agreement with the City of Wayland calls for payment for each response to the sites, including direct and indirect labor costs, fringe benefits and apparatus expenses based on a standard hourly equipment operating charge.

The city will also be under no obligation to acquire any new or additional apparatus, equipment or training to service the sites unless the Tribe pays for additional needs. The Tribe must also supply sufficient water systems.

The contract includes immunity from liability to the city and a waiver of sovereign immunity from suit.

The city reserves the right to approve or reject any additional parcels placed into trust.

Those listed include:

Wayland Township—The government campus property at 2782 Mission Drive, Shelbyville, RCT property/Noonday Market at 1150 129th Ave., Shelbyville; 130th Avenue property (140 acres of land north of 130th Avenue); Nine settlement properties on Bode’wadmi Trail in Shelbyville; a pending 75-acre Zandbergen farm property on 129th Ave. in Shelbyville; a pending 10-acre Plummers Park property at 2875 Plummer Park Place, Bradley; and a pending 10-acre Indian Lake property at 1150 129th Ave., Shelbyville.

City of Wayland—A pending Reno Drive property at 1180 133rd Ave., Wayland, with four parcel numbers.

Hopkins Township—Jijak Camp property at 2558 20th Ave.(156.6 acres) and 2044 126th Ave., Hopkins (20 acres).

McLean asked the Tribe what was being planned for Reno Drive.

“The response was the Tribe does not currently have plans to develop parcels purchased in the City of Wayland,” he said.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.




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