Stockbridge-Munsee open new elderly care center

Tribe says Ho-Chunk expansion endangers future projects

Contributed Photo The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe holds a ribbon-cutting Thursday for a new elder care center in Bowler.

The Stockbridge-Munsee tribe hosted a grand opening Thursday for a new elder care center, but also used the occasion to take a swipe at the Ho-Chunk tribe’s plans for a casino expansion that could significantly hurt Stockbridge-Munsee revenue.

“Building a new home for our elderly has been a goal of our Tribal Council for many years, and I am excited to see it come to fruition,” said Shannon Holsey, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council.

“However,” she added, “without revenue from the North Star Mohican Casino Resort – which is now at risk because of an unlawful expansion of the Ho-Chunk Wittenberg ancillary gaming facility – a project like this simply is not possible. The ability to care for our elders, who are the people in our community who we respect the most, is just one of the many reasons our Tribal Council is fighting so hard to stop the unlawful Wittenberg expansion.”

According to a study by Chicago-based Market and Feasibility Advisors LLC, an expanded Ho-Chunk casino in Wittenberg would deprive the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe of $22 million in annual revenue from its gaming facilities.

The tribe said it wants the state to stop the Ho-Chunk project and was demanding the state seek an Indian Lands Opinion on the Wittenberg land parcel from the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The new Elder Care Center will offer daily meal services, transportation services, activities and recreational opportunities, and chore services, including snow removal, lawn maintenance and window washing.

The new 7,200-square-foot center, estimated to cost $1.7 million, is located at the site of the old center, N8651 Maplewood St., Bowler. Key features of the building include a lounge with a fireplace, a commercial grade kitchen, a 120-seat dining room and professional meeting areas with video conferencing capabilities.

Thursday’s ceremonies included a ribbon-cutting and a post-ceremony reception in the building.

Representatives from local and county government and local economic development groups spoke at the event.

“It’s great to see the Stockbridge-Munsee providing further investment into their elderly population through the new Elder Care Center,” state Sen. Robert Cowles said. “The vital services provided, including home-delivered meals, transportation and recreational activities, will only be enhanced through this new facility, and will serve as an asset to the whole community.”

“The Stockbridge-Munsee’s continued partnership and investment in the community with this new Elder Care Center is an important addition and resource for many in the area,” state Rep. Gary Tauchen said. “I applaud the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in their efforts.”