By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
According to a report released last week by Deputy Financial Officer Kim Peone, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a net worth of over $700 million. The report, entitled “Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2014”, reports on the amounts of tribal reserve funds and total net assets along with budget highlights and goals for FY15.
“Our staff has worked diligently to assist tribal programs and entities in determining their budgetary needs, goals and objectives as part of our priority-based budget approach,” Peone said in the report. “In the next fiscal year we have tremendous capacity to continue to shape and strategically plan for the future of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, our service to our members, and our opportunities for economic development and diversification.”
Some of the new initiatives outlined in the report include: adding a fifth grade classroom to the New Kituwah Academy, completing the Justice Center, building the Snowbird Youth Center, expanding the Cherokee Phoenix Theater, building a community pool, building a new Community Center in the Painttown Community, and beginning construction on the new Cherokee Indian Hospital and the new Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“Fiscal Year 2014 will give us an opportunity to plan, identify strategic initiatives, and build a comprehensive roadmap toward sustainability,” said Peone.
Some of the FY2014 goals Peone outlines in the report include:
- Assist the Tribe in the development of a strategic operating plan
- Collaborate with Tribal leadership in setting strategic priorities with multigenerational focus
- Obtain direction from Tribal leadership on new initiatives
- Prepare multi-year capital asset plan and budget
- Plan and develop a budget for new initiatives
“Our Tribe enjoys a level of prosperity that is a beacon for Indian Country,” noted Peone. “We will meet and exceed the required fund balance in General Fund.”