Licking County to Pay Indian Tribes $ 14,000 for 911 Tower Review


NEWARK – Before construction can begin on a 140-foot Licking County 911 Center communications relay tower, the county must pay a total of $ 14,150 to 22 Native American tribes.

According to federal law, Native American tribes evicted from Ohio in the 1800s can charge a fee for their historic review of a tower construction site. They must be federally recognized tribes that are sovereign nations with treaties with the United States.

The Licking County 911 Center will move later this year from its downtown Newark location at 119 East Main St. to the Port Authority’s Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center campus at Heath.

“They can request a review, and we pay them a fee to review it,” said Sean Grady, director of the Licking County Emergency Management Agency and Regional 911 Center. “The authorization process can be done. be a little tough, and everyone has a finger in the pie. “

In November, county officials believed the move would happen this spring. Now, says Grady, it will probably be in December. The county has entered into a 10-year lease for the use of an 8,500 square foot facility at the Harbor Authority with a base cost of $ 722,500.

“The tower is the biggest problem,” Grady said.

There were 26 tribes eligible to charge, but four waived the charge. The fees charged range from $ 300 to $ 1,500. The Omaha tribe of Nebraska and the Sioux tribe of Crow Creek, South Dakota, charged $ 1,500. Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe billed $ 1,000 each.

Ben Barnes, second chief of the Shawnee tribe, said the tribes are examining soil disturbances in areas of historic interest. The tribes were forcibly evicted from Ohio from 1831 to 1843, he said.

“This is a tribal nation issue,” Barnes said. “We are sent a set of documents prepared by specialists on the spot, who prepare a report sent to the tribes.

“We are reviewing the documents and looking for the environmental and archaeological impacts on the site, not just the space the tower is in. The documents will indicate whether a site visit is necessary or not. There is a lot of work in the reviews. . “

The fee covers the cost of the exams, with any excess being used for historic preservation activities, Barnes said.

“We found previously intact graves when they moved a sidewalk over 2 feet,” Barnes said. “It hadn’t been discussed (across) all of these generations.”

For the owner of the tower, Barnes said, the fees are money well spent compared to the potential disruption to construction and the costs that would occur with disruption to the historic land.

Barnes said he knew nothing of what the Shawnee Tribe had discovered in their reviews, but he knew other tribes had discovered historical significance, forcing the towers to recede 100 feet or a quarter mile.

Barnes was surprised, however, that a fee was charged for a 911 tower. He said the fee is generally waived for such a construction.

Grady said he expected a fee because the current 275-foot tower, which will remain at its East Main location, also required a tribal examination fee before it could start operating in 2014.

Following negotiations with the state historic preservation office, the county provided a contribution to the work before the construction of the current tower. The contribution compensated The Works, considered a historic site, for the impact of the tower on the view from The Works.

“I knew a fee had been paid in 2014, and I knew we had to go that route,” Grady said. “This is not unexpected. I was a little surprised at the number of tribes and the number charged (fees).”

Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb said it would likely be futile to try to dispute the charges.

“I’m not sure it’s worth our doing any kind of a challenge,” Bubb said. “This is the process that was dictated to us.”

Bubb said he spoke to former congressman Pat Tiberi several years ago about the charges.

“I was a little stunned when I heard it,” Bubb said. “They have the right to look at it and charge a fee. It didn’t sound right, but what are you going to do.”

The 25-year-old downtown facility, where the 911 Center and Licking County Sheriff’s Office was located in 2014, has structural issues, forcing the move to another location.

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Twitter: @ kmallett1958

Tower examination fee

Rocky Boy Reserve Chippewa Cree Tribe $ 400

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe $ 1,500

Delaware Nation $ 1,000

Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma Indians $ 1,000

Sioux Flandreau Santee Tribe $ 1,000

Oklahoma Iowa Tribe $ 550

Kaw Nation $ 500

Old Desert Lake Chippewa Indian Band of Lake Superior $ 500

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma $ 400

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska $ 1,500

Otoe ‐ Missouria Indian Tribe $ 750

Oklahoma Ottawa Tribe $ 500

Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma $ 200

Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma Indians $ 750

Lake Superior Red Cliff Band of Wisconsin Chippewa Indians $ 800

Red Lake Chippewa Indian Band $ 300

Seneca ‐ Cayuga Nation $ 350

Shawnee Tribe $ 400

Sokaogon Chippewa Community $ 350

Chippewa Turtle Mountain Band $ 300

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska $ 500

Wyandotte Nation $ 600

Total fees: $ 14,150

Absent Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma $ 500 canceled

Eastern Oklahoma Shawnee Tribe $ 550 Canceled

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community $ 500 canceled

Lac du Flambeau Band Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior $ 350 canceled

Fees waived $ 1,900

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