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Mdewakanton Sioux helping pay for road construction in Scott County

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is kicking in $1.65 million for reconstruction of a busy intersection near its Mystic Lake Casino in Scott County.

There are no legal requirements for the tribe to use its large gambling income to help pay for area road projects, but officials say they've contributed more than $6.6 million for shared road projects with local governments.

The current project will fix up the intersection of County Roads 42 and 17, making it safer and more efficient; federal funds will pay for the rest of the work, estimated at $5 million to $7 million.

The project will include an overpass to carry traffic north on County Road 17, with separate exit and entrance ramps to decrease the chance to collision. Four people have died in accidents there since 2005.

SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks said in a statement:

“Since this is the route that our ambulances take to get to the hospital and school buses take to get to Shakopee schools, as well as local residents to their homes and jobs, we thought it was important to participate in this project to address immediate safety problems and accommodate growing traffic on this important roadway."

SMSC says it has donated more than $202.8 million to charitable organizations and Indian tribes and Native American organizations over the past 13 years and made more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects.

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