The Mohegan Tribal Council has accepted a $74 million federal loan package awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture toward completing its stalled government building-community center building.
It was announced that the building should be completed within one year after construction begins. The $74 million building will be a scaled-back version of what was begun some two years ago when the Feather News reported that the building was to cost $100 million based on credible sources and cost over-run track records. Official statements claim that the original building was to cost $89 million.
The $74 million in loans, with a reported effective interest rate of 2.8 percent, consists of $54 million in loans funded by federal stimulus money, $18 million in guaranteed loans and another $2 million in nonguaranteed loans.
It was reported that $28 million had already been spent on the building.
Mohegan Tribal Council Chairwoman Lynn Malerba told The Day newspaper, "It's not about a bailout. It's about a low-interest loan. We're going to pay every bit of it back - with interest."
The Tribe has long since outgrown having no community center, some say.
According to The Day article, "(The building) will still have four floors and a lower level, but only the two lower floors and the lower level will be completed at this time. Savings have also been realized on furnishings and landscaping.
"The building will house a library and offices for the tribal and elders councils and such tribal-government departments as Health and Human Services, Education, Cultural and Community Programs, Legal, Finance, Court, Administration and Publications. A lower level will include a gym with two basketball courts, locker rooms and a fitness center. The exterior will reflect the style of the tribe's longhouses, with arched roofs and elongated wings."
There have been no reports that Mohegan tribal members were asked by their government as to whether the new debt should be taken on at this time.
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