July 18, 2013

City to seek additional oil impact funds

City to seek additional oil impact funds
By Jerry W. Kram

The New Town City Council met in a special session on July 11 to decide whether or not apply for additional oil impact grant money.
Police Chief Art Walgren requested the special meeting after returning from a conference of state officials and area emergency service agencies in Watford City. Walgren said a larger round of emergency service grants was presented pretty much as expected. However, the state surprised everyone by presenting an additional round of grants that would be used exclusively for steps that would allow communities to hire more law enforcement officers. One limitation of the grant is that it can’t be used for regular officer salaries.
Walgren asked for the special council meeting because the deadline for filing for this additional round of grants was July 12.
Walgren said he had three proposals for the council to consider. The first would be for the city to use part of the grant to purchase two additional trailers for officer housing. Walgren said the lack of housing was a major barrier for hiring new officers. The 14x64 trailers would be installed with the existing city FEMA trailer housing by the old county shop. The grant would cover 75 percent of the $120,000 cost of buying and installing the trailers, leaving the city to pay $30,000.
The second part of the grant would be to cover the purchase of a K-9 drug detection and tracking dog. The city council had previously authorized Walgren to investigate purchasing the animal. The grant request would also include purchasing a vehicle that could be outfitted as a K-9 vehicle. That part of the grant would be for $27,000 with a city share of $9,000.


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