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National stimulus funds to help many local entities

With the nation teetering on the brink of a major financial collapse, the federal government early this year flooded the nation with stimulus dollars to help the economy recover, and to save or create jobs.

The following information on local grant recipients is from the Web site, which went live shortly after President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law on Feb. 17.

Given its primary mandate -- to allow taxpayers to see precisely what entities receive Recovery money in addition to how and where the money is spent -- the site displays easy-to-understand, user-friendly graphs, charts, and maps.

These tools offer both telescopic and microscopic views of Recovery spending and projects across the country, from a larger national overview down to details of individual projects in specific zip codes.

The site also provides an online way for reporting any suspected fraud, waste or abuse related to Recovery funding and projects. is operated by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which was also created by the Recovery Act,

Here are some local grant awards:

• $2 million to the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corp. in Detroit Lakes "to expand an in-house loan pool for first and second home mortgages targeted to low-income individuals in rural Minnesota."

As of June 29, MMCDC used a small portion of the CDFI money to provide a total of three in-house residential loans targeted to low-income individuals in rural Minnesota.

Of the three loans closed, two loans provided closing cost assistance to two single-family households.

The last was for a foreclosure assistance loan. Through the recovery act grant money and the help of the U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson's office MMCDC was able to assist a family in restructuring a loan to prevent eviction.

• The White Earth Investment Initiative, which operates under the MMCDC umbrella, received a $590,000 grant to increase lending capacity for consumer loans to residents of the White Earth reservation.

• $99,000 to M-State, Detroit Lakes to fund business entrepreneur center staff and for start up equipment for the business incubator. Three jobs created.

• $57,000 to Becker County Housing to renovate, modernize and improve the energy efficiency of its units -- including the replacement of shingles, windows and doors. Four jobs were created. The project is done.

• $208,000 for classroom and playground improvements, staff training and supplies, among many other things, to the Head Start and Early Head Start programs at the Mahube Community Council in Detroit Lakes. A total of 263 Head Start children and 96 Early Head Start children will be served with this funding. Four jobs created.

• $4.6 million to the White Earth Housing Authority for general operations, including new construction, remodeling, demolition, mold-removal and other work.

The housing authority also aims to provide employment training and contracting opportunities for low income persons and American Indian contractors.

• $304,000 to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for box culvert replacement on County Road 7 over the Buffalo River north of Lake Park.

• $154,000 to Community Resource Alliance in Callaway to be used for prevention of tribal domestic violence and sexual assault.

• The White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians received a total of $3.4 million, (a number of thoseprojects are listed in this story) including about $270,000 to help communities, children and families by creating and developing high quality child care services. That includes helping child care providers to stay in compliance or get in compliance with licensing regulations, and providing parents and children with high quality early childhood opportunities that include literacy and school readiness initiatives.

• The tribe received $195,000 for its food distribution program, to renovate the existing office building, construct a garage, and purchase generator, a truck with a plow and a lawn tractor.

Fifteen construction jobs were created with this project.

• The tribe received $649,000 to fund four positions within the tribal police department.

• The tribe received $276,000 for sanitation facilities improvements, specifically $461,000 to build a new to$276,000 improve the White Earth lagoon with riprap.

• The tribe received $71,000 for a youth employment project in Naytahwaush.

The Supplemental Youth Services program will give young people from age 14 to 24 the opportunity to gain work experience and good work habits, while at the same time earning money to purchase clothes and school supplies.

• The tribe received $446,000 to build a lodge in the Waubun area.

Hunter Grobe met earlier with the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council to discuss the schematic design, which was approved by the council.

More funding is needed to construct the lodge. Tribal Planner Mike Triplett has submitted another HUD grant application for this purpose and the White Earth Planning Department is also seeking funds from other sources.

The lodge is going to be used for various purposes to help reservation youth learn more about the culture and hold various training and events. The construction project will provide jobs for various tribal members.

• The tribe received $707,000 to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The grant will fund three new positions -- an elder advocate to provide direct advocacy services to elderly abuse victims; an administrative assistant to provide office support to six staffers and the program manager; and a law enforcement domestic violence/sexual assault investigator for the tribal police department.

The program will provide training for law enforcement on domestic and sexual violence as well as elder abuse training. Several Wiping of the Tears Ceremonies (to begin the healing of many years of hurt, mistrust, violence against persons, grief and any traumatic event). Consultants will be contracted with for training purposes.

The program will purchase an ITV unit for the Tribal Court that will be used during trials and will enable the victim to testify without having to confront the alleged suspect. This will allow for a more truthful testimony while having less of an intimidation factor.

This award will provide the opportunity for White Earth DOVE (Down On Violence Everyday) Program and the White Earth Reservation Tribal Agency to develop and strengthen effective responses to violence against women.

• $19,000 will go to the Naytahwaush charter school for carpeting, tiling and roofing work. Three jobs created.

• $18,000 for a bus garage at the Pine Point School.