Update From SRPMIC President Martin Harvier

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In his June 26 weekly update in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Chambers, SRPMIC President Martin Harvier began by saying that he missed the in-person Council meetings and having the public there in attendance as well. He stressed that business is continuing with the Community, and he shared a website on which Community members can watch the Council meetings. Go to www.srpmic-nsn.gov and click on “Tribal Government,” then “Virtual Council Meetings.”

President Harvier offered his condolences to the Community family that recently lost a loved one to the COVID-19 virus.

Status of COVID-19 testing in the Community

President Harvier said health officials have informed us that the Salt River Clinic has conducted 1,810 total COVID tests (as of June 26). Of those, 57 came back positive for COVID-19 in enrolled Community members. The good news is that 23 of those who had the virus have recovered. There are 12 non-members living in the Community who have tested positive, and nine of those individuals have recovered. For those who remain sick with the illness, we remember them and their families in our prayers. 

Emergency Declaration – Second Directive – Wear Face Masks

It is mandatory that face masks be worn in the Community, as part of the Emergency Declaration that is currently in effect. What we are implementing here has been implemented in surrounding cities. Again, it is mandatory—meaning you must wear a mask. As always, follow the other precautions as well: stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid touching your face, and frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. We must not let our guard down as we go forward. 

Some of the reports we are hearing from outside agencies indicate that the next two weeks are going to be very critical because the number of cases is going to continue to rise. Be mindful wherever you are and take care of yourself, your family and Community. 

SRPMIC Community elections

A nomination meeting was held in the Community. There are three Council seats in contention, two in Salt River and one in Lehi. Because there were four Council nominations for Salt River and two for Lehi, there will only be a SRPMIC general election on September 1. Congratulations to those individuals who have been nominated for Council. (For more information, see page 14.)

4th of July and Fireworks Danger

President Harvier said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4th of July festivities have been canceled to discourage people from gathering in groups. We must be vigilant about reducing the spread of this virus. That said, some people may be celebrating at home. Please be aware that fireworks displays are prohibited due to the extreme fire risk. 

On June 19, there was a major fire on the Community, and fire officials indicated that it was caused by fireworks. With such little rain this winter, there is a lot of dry brush in the Community, even surrounding some of our homes, and that creates a huge fire danger. We were very fortunate that we did not lose any structures in this fire. This just goes to show that using fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers and other flammable items is too dangerous this year. I want to personally thank the City of Scottsdale and the City of Phoenix for their assistance. Thanks to the intergovernmental agreement we have with those cities, their fire departments came out and helped the Salt River Fire Department put out that fire.

Community Relief Fund

President Harvier said Council felt it was important to share that we are coming to the close of the second quarter for the per capita payout. As you know, as Community members the Casino generates the payouts, and due to COVID the casino was closed for a period of time. As a result, the amount of revenue that has been generated is not as much as it would have been if the casino were operating normally, meaning that the amount of the per cap payment is going to be smaller this quarter. Even after the casino reopened, it is not running at full capacity. I want Community members to be aware that the Council and SRPMIC Administration are working on creating a relief fund. It is going to take participation from you as enrolled members age 18 and up. More information about the relief fund will be distributed soon.

With the spike in COVID-19 cases, remember, Let’s Shield Up!