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Tribes expect $31 in revenue for 2002

Recently released budget for coming year shows continued decline in timber receipts
News Editor
   WARM SPRINGS -- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs' Tribal Council released a finalized draft of its 2002 budget resolution recently, announcing that it anticipates collecting revenues totaling more than $31 million in the coming year.
   Nearly half of that amount -- an estimated $31,043,000 to be exact -- will come from hydroelectric projects, but the tribes' total revenue is down nearly $700,000 from a year ago, Warm Springs Secretary-Treasurer Charles Jackson said.
   The tribes' anticipated governmental expenditures have been tabbed at $25,399,000 for the coming year, leaving $5.14 million to distribute in monthly per capita payments.
   The $25.4 million in governmental expenditures are broken into five sub categories: $19.75 million for the operating budget, $306,000 in community assistance, $1.6 in debt services, $2.26 for economic development and $1.48 for capital projects.
   "I can say that in the last five years, our revenues have started to trend downwards," Jackson said. "That's primarily due to a lowering in timber stumpage revenue."
   Timber receipts will account for roughly $4.2 million this year, much less than what the tribes have collected in the past. Gaming is expected to account for $2 million.
   "We expect to have to continue to trim our budget over the next several years while we are struggling to find new revenue sources," Jackson said.
   With these declines, the tribes have been searching for new sources of revenue, and have explored the possibility of opening a casino on trust land they own in the Hood River-area of the Columbia Gorge.
   Tribal officials also hope becoming part owners of the Pelton/Round Butte Hydroelectric Project on the Deschutes River will stabilize their annual revenue, Jackson said. And the relatively recent addition of a development corporation in Warm Springs is intended to bring new jobs and new revenue to the reservation.
   The budget takes effect Jan. 1.