http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgTribal Councilor Bryan Warner on Sept. 11 reads a resolution calling for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity so that Cherokee Nation Businesses’ line of credit with the Bank of Oklahoma can increase by $50 million. The bill passed unanimously. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tribal Councilor Bryan Warner on Sept. 11 reads a resolution calling for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity so that Cherokee Nation Businesses’ line of credit with the Bank of Oklahoma can increase by $50 million. The bill passed unanimously. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Council allows CNB credit-line increase with BOK

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
09/13/2017 11:12 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During the Sept. 11 Tribal Council meeting, legislators unanimously authorized a limited waiver of sovereign immunity for certain lending transactions involving Cherokee Nation Businesses.

In 2013, CNB obtained a five-year, $100 million credit facility from the Bank of Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation entered into a non-interference agreement and provided limited waivers of sovereign immunity to allow BOK to enforce the transaction obligations.

A credit facility is an arrangement between a bank and a business that allows the business to borrow a particular amount of money for different purposes for a particular period of time. A credit facility can include revolving credit, term loans, committed facilities, letters of credit and most retail credit accounts.

Under the resolution passed at the Tribal Council meeting, CNB looks to increase the credit available under the agreement from $100 million to $150 million, extend the maturity date, include a desire to have the guarantees, list the asset pledges and have the non-interference agreement ratified and confirmed. A desire to have the CN provide an updated limited waiver of sovereign immunity is also included.

In the Aug. 31 Rules Committee meeting, the resolution passed 13-2 as Tribal Councilors Shawn Crittenden and Dick Lay opposed it.

In committee, Crittenden questioned the resolution and asked if passed would it allow CNB’s dividend to the CN increase.

“We get 35 percent dividend. If this body would ever want to up that a little bit, does a yes vote change that?” Crittenden said. “I’ve seen in the past they bumped (the dividend) up to where it is now. My concern came after we had our meeting. And not being a lawyer myself, would it essentially make it where we couldn’t do it (raise the dividend)?”

Attorney General Todd Hembree said a main reason why CNB has flourished is because the tribe has put “a line of demarcation between business and government.”

“I can give you copious examples of tribe after tribe where their government has ran their businesses and have failed,” Hembree said. He added that the Tribal Council has “considerable amount of oversight over” CNB and that the raised line of credit would not prevent it from raising the dividend. “It just depends on the circumstances of if, when and how.”

Legislators also authorized an easement for right of way for the renewal of an existing pipeline easement to Phillips 66 Carrier at Chilocco Units 4 and 5 in Kay County.

The resolution states Phillips 66 Carrier located in Ponca City requested the renewal of a 10-inch pipeline easement across the Chilocco units, which are located on CN trust land. The easement will be for a term of 20 years.

In other business, legislators:
• Approved the fiscal year 2018 capital budget for a total budget authority of $246.7 million,
• Approved the FY 2018 operating budget for a total budget authority of $648.2 million,
• Amended the FY 2017 operating budget by adding $5.2 million for a total budget authority of $710,519,810, and
• Authorized the CN to be a member of the National Congress of American Indians and appointed Principal Chief Bill John Baker as designated representative and 43 tribal delegate alternates in his absence.
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