By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has begun the process to purchase a four-acre lot in the Painttown Community for a price of $3,400,000.
Tribal Council passed Res. 268 (2020) unanimously that authorizes Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed, on behalf of the Tribe, to enter into a contract for sale and purchase of Painttown Community Parcel No. 834. That property, owned by EBCI tribal member Davy Arch, is directly adjacent to the current tribally-owned property for the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
The Lands Acquisition Committee approved this purchase from Arch on Aug. 10.
Jay Gallinger spoke for the Lands Acquisition Committee during Thursday’s meeting. “This was passed from Lands Acquisition because the Tribe knows the necessity of buying this parcel…it goes back to the original purchase of the Casino property.”
“I did the research, BIA got it from me. The original purchases for that Tribal Gaming Commission (TGC) tract going down. The EBCI owns that property but it’s in Davy Arch’s name…it’s an essential purchase that’s been put off for a long time,” continued Gallinger.
Chief Sneed confirmed that this property runs all the way through the El Camino Hotel area.
“This acreage was originally in a long-term lease. It was a 20-year lease. It included the parking area down at the far end and also the land that the TCG building is on. That lease ended at least a year and a half or two years ago. We’ve been doing an annual recurring lease on it,” said Principal Chief Sneed.
The document states that the money for this land purchase will be coming from the Tribe’s Endowment Fund No. 2.
There was no further discussion of this resolution and it was passed by all that were present. Wolftown Rep. Chelsea Saunooke and Big Rep. Perry Shell were not present for the vote.