Schools, SWCD and juvenile center awarded CARES funding

The Hubbard County Board reviewed and awarded numerous applications for CARES Act funding at their Nov. 17 meeting.

Juvenile center

Commissioners approved a $15,807 request from the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center. Expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic were custodial/cleaning supplies, youth hygiene/personal protective equipment (PPE), technology, property maintenance, staff costs for COVID positive youth in quarantine, emergency paid leave via Families First Coronavirus Response Act, fencing for outdoor activities/recreation and constructing an outdoor visitation pavilion.

Hubbard County SWCD

The Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will receive $23,615.

SWCD Manager Crystal Mathisrud wrote, “When COVID-19 began spreading in our area early in 2020, we quickly realized that we had to shift our daily operations so that we could continue to function and serve our community while also keeping staff and the community at large safe and healthy. We immediately shifted our office to remote working status and made arrangements for staff to rotate in the office when office equipment or files were needed. We ordered PPE for use in the office as well as for field visits, which inevitably needed to continue for us to do our work. We also purchased laptops for staff to take home and online team management and meeting tools including Zoom video conferencing, GIS accounts, Google Drive storage space for virtual file sharing and domain names to use as a way to create an online outreach and education service so we could continue to interact with schools, youth and landowners on a regular basis for engagement without having to put people at additional risk due to gathering.”

Funds budgeted for the Freshwater Festival and Envirothon were redirected toward creating a new outreach and educational tool, called the Watershed Virtual Lab, she continued. Fine-tuning of the platform and interacting with individual users and classrooms is ongoing in November and December.


School districts

The Laporte School District’s letter of application sought a total of $20,919 in CARES funding. Superintendent Kim Goodwin explained that 50 Chromebooks were purchased, at a cost of $16,450, for students to participate in distance and in-person learning. Another $4,469 went toward teacher computers and headsets. “This would give every teacher the technology devices they need to successfully teach,” Goodwin wrote.

The Nevis School District requested and received $57,716. Expenses related to COVID-19 were a floor scrubber; air-purifying ionizers for classrooms, gyms, band and choir rooms and student areas; ionization sprayers for the buses; temperature scanners; handheld digital thermometers, and insulated reflective gloves for bus drivers, among other things.

Finally, the Park Rapids School District submitted a request for $168,877. The district purchased 200 Chromebooks, 20 Optoma 86-inch touch screens, 10 air purifiers, 10 document cameras, 20 monitors and 50 Apple Airpods Pro.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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