News Release


DATE: April 13, 2007

CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108 



SAN DIEGO, CA — Public safety agencies and other safety projects got a boost from the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee this week when the committee awarded over $3 million in grants from tribal money paid into the State Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund. 

The committee assessed grant applications from throughout the county and selected 21 local community and public safety projects to fund, including over $500,000 for the Regional Command, Control & Communications Project and $300,000 for a new fire engine for Boulevard Fire Department.  Representatives from the groups receiving grants were present at the meeting.

"Communities impacted by gaming will be safer and better prepared for emergencies thanks to these important grants. I appreciate the committee's efforts and look forward to future government-to-government partnerships," said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Chair of the committee.

After assessing the needs of local communities and the recommendations of the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee, the following 21 projects were selected to share in the $3,084,756.31:

  • Regional Command, Control & Communications (3C’s) Project Phase 3 -- $535,498
  • Pavement Reinforcement -- Washington Avenue -- $500,000
  • Boulevard Fire Department – Rescue Interface Engine --$300,000
  • Tribal Liaison and District Attorney Training -- $300,000
  • Preservation of Standard Roadway Maintenance Levels – Motor Grader - -$200,000
  • FY07–08 Dispatch Fees for Rural Volunteer Fire Agencies -- $187,774.31
  • Spirit of Family -- $160,000
  • Ramona Fire Department – Paramedic ALS Transportation Ambulance -- $145,000
  • Campo Fire and Rescue – Communications System Upgrade -- $96,000
  • Primary Helicopter Flight Instruction -- $92,000
  • Juvenile Diversion, Children’s Initiative - $85,000
  • Command Vehicle Purchase -- $75,064
  • Alpine Fire Protection District – Communications Equipment -- $73,000
  • Two Stand-by Generators for Mt. Laguna Fire Safe Council -- $71,000
  • Utility/Command Vehicle for Gang Street Team -- $70,000
  • Anti-Theft License Plate Reader -- $64,500
  • Gambling Counselor Intern Pilot Project -- $49,920
  • Automated License Plate Recognition Device -- $30,000
  • Mobile Emergency Response Command Trailer -- $25,000
  • Station Well Pump for Intermountain Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $15,000
  • Vandalism Deterrent System -- $10,000

“The Barona Tribe has overseen the distribution of millions of dollars to local government agencies through our participation with the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee,” said Thorpe Romero, councilmember for the Barona Band of Mission Indians.  “These grants have helped pay for public safety equipment and training, regional communications systems, and neighborhood improvement projects.  Being a part of this process provides Barona new ways to give back to our neighbors and we are proud our choices have helped improve the well-being of the San Diego region for future generations to come.”

The members of the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee include San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Sheriff Bill Kolender, San Diego County Assessor Greg Smith, and El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis.  Tribal representatives on the committee include Thorpe Romero, Councilmember of the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Danny Tucker, Chairman of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

“Continuing our legacy of community involvement, Sycuan is proud to be able to contribute to our neighbors in San Diego through the special distribution fund,” stated Sycuan Tribal Chairman Daniel Tucker.  “We are committed to creating stronger communities by supporting improved public safety services and programs, as well as road improvements throughout the region.”

The Special Distribution Fund was created after California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1A, an amendment to the California constitution which authorized the State to enter into compacts with Indian Tribes for limited forms of gaming, in March of 2000. The compacts require tribes, which were engaged in gaming in 1999, to pay into the Special Distribution Fund.  During the compact negotiations, Barona and Sycuan worked together to ensure that a portion of the money the Tribes pay into the fund would be used to directly benefit San Diego County.