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Grand Forks County Commission approves more than $42,000 in ARPA funds for Juvenile Detention Center radios

ARPA funds will be used to cover the costs under the “Revenue Lost” provision category, which as of January allows municipalities to use a standard allowance of up to $10 million for the category instead of the previous calculation formula.

The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks County Commission on Tuesday approved a request from the Juvenile Detention Center for money to purchase new radios.

The total cost for the new radios is $42,460.10, including installation fees, for one base station, two mobile radios and five portable radios.

ARPA funds will be used to cover the costs under the “Revenue Lost” provision category, which as of January allows municipalities to use a standard allowance of up to $10 million for the category instead of the previous calculation formula.

Robin Spain, the center’s administrator who replaced Bridgie Hanson after her retirement, addressed the board about the costs for the new radios. She said the detention center would be reimbursed $1,500 per radio for a total of $12,000. With the reimbursements, the total cost would end up being $28,761.90 at the end of the process.

The radios in the center’s vehicles have never been updated.

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“The new series radios came in through a 911 center, and they said they’d give us a five-year window in which to go ahead with these, because we would then get a $1,500 reimbursement back,” Spain said. “I didn't budget for this year just because we had other expenses coming forward for this year.”

During the meeting, Commissioner Bob Rost said the distribution of funds will be budgeted in 2023 due to one of the center’s current vehicles not being compatible with the new radios.

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“Juvenile detention got the emergency manager’s old vehicle, and it had a VHF radio in it,” Rost said. “No sense putting the juvenile VHF radio into that vehicle when it's going to be required to have the 800 trunking (radio system) at some point in time, so I thought we should just move on it now.”

In other news Tuesday, the North Dakota Small Business Development Center in Grand Forks provided the commission with an update, including its annual report.

Nicole Evans, the center’s director, presented the Grand Forks impacts in the past year, which are collected when businesses are started or receive capital formation. She said the center has been able to serve 149 clients and collect about $6.6 million in capital infusion so far in 2022. Evans said she hopes to be back in front of the commission by the end of 2023 to provide another update.

Greg Syrup, business adviser and Cares Program manager for the center, also spoke about supporting businesses with programs, such as PPP and other similar programs. He touted the launch around this time last year of ShopND, a free online marketplace for all North Dakota businesses, as one of the center’s biggest successes in the past year. The center is also preparing to launch a “virtual access center, which he described as “an all-in-one PC printer,” for rural communities.

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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