Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Meeker County receives FEMA grant for 800 MHz radio project
MARCH 22, 2010

Grant to help offset costs for Dassel Fire and Rescue

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

DASSEL, MN –During Tuesday’s Meeker County Board meeting, it was announced that Dassel’s Fire and Rescue would likely receive $53,874 toward its radio equipment for the ARMER project.

“It’s good for the county, it’s good for us,” said Dassel Fire Chief Dale Grochow.

Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response, or ARMER, will allow for the change-over to 800 megahertz throughout the county, and eventually throughout the state.

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin announced March 15 that the county was awarded a $162,540 grant from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for city fire departments.

This grant would pay for 87 pieces of equipment for the fire departments, combined, Norlin said. It was noted that this grant reduced the cost for fire departments county-wide by 75 percent.

“This is really good news for our cities,” said Commissioner Amy Wilde.

There were several factors that determined how much each department received.

One of the reasons Dassel will receive the most of all the city fire departments in the county is the number of radios requested and the combination with the fire and rescue team. Size of the city and previous grants received were also noted as factors.

The amount the City of Dassel owed to the county for the total cost of the project ($72,044) was then change to $18,170. It was noted that the numbers are only preliminary and the county would have to verify radio counts.

Some of the radios for Dassel have already been purchased, Grochow said.

The new pumper that is expected to be delivered in April will already be installed with the new radios.

Though the county hasn’t switched over yet, the radios can be used when mutual aid is needed by the neighboring counties of Sherburne and Wright, which have already made the switch, Grochow explained.

The target for the switch-over is the end of August, according to Norlin.

Pipeline benefits

County Administrator Paul Virnig explained to the board of the positive tax impact the new pipeline will have in reducing the overall tax burden county-wide.

The pipeline, a new taxpayer, has a total tax capacity for the county of $460,900, which would decrease the tax burden by the residents by 1.8 percent.

For its 2010 taxes, the Minnesota Pipeline Company will pay $637,182 and be distributed to the state and through the six different townships and three school districts.

In Dassel Township, 6.61 percent of the tax capacity is now from the pipeline.

This will help offset landowners’ property taxes within those townships, Virnig explained.


 

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