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County gets $738,000 from security grant

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has allocated $738,540 of State Homeland Security Grant funding to Dakota County. The funding is provided under the Urban Area Security Initiative of the Federal Department of Homeland Security.

The spending plan for this grant includes items identified by Dakota County for internal preparedness efforts and the Dakota County Domestic Preparedness Committee for improving countywide emergency response. The funds will be used for equipment, homeland security planning activities, exercises,organization and training.

In the equipment area, the county plans to continue to fund its pandemic flu preparedness, including respirators, gloves and aprons and additional radio equipment to support the Special Operations Team.

The SOT is made up of members from the county and all 11 cities, including Farmington, with members from fire, law enforcement and emergency services agencies. The team has responded to incidents involving hazardous materials, technical rescues and collapsed structures at locations throughout the county.

In the planning area, the county will continue to provide funding for a grant-limited consultants who will assist in the implementation of homeland security initiatives.

The grant also includes funding for a potential 10th 800-MHz radio site in the southeast portion of the county. Discussions are continuing with Goodhue County to evaluate the need for, and most cost-effective approach for this site if necessary.

The grant period extends to March 31, 2011. The amount not spent this year will be carried over to 2010.