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Cass County Supervisors fully support CCFA grant application


November 30th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Updated) The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Monday (Today), heard request from the Cass County Firefighters Association for support of their efforts to obtain a grant amounting to roughly $343,000, which if approved, would help to pay for 700 megahertz (MHz) radios, as part of the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System (ISICS). Part of the grant requirement is a five-percent local match. CCFF President JC Wyman said the system is superior to what they departments currently use, judging by the few radios they have on-hand.

The combined efforts of all area departments, he said, makes their chances of getting a grant better than if they had tried individually. Wyman said the cost of 45 mobile radios with 14 handhelds, is $341,265. The Federal Government requires a five-percent local match, or $17,064.

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon said the EMA and 911 Center fully support the grant application. He said the State built the system used by the State Patrol and DOT. Cass County he said, is taking steps to integrate the communications system into ISICS.

Getting the radios for the County fire departments, he said, would complete that process. Local law enforcement are already using the system. The Supervisors did not set a dollar amount for the County’s share during Monday’s meeting, did but unanimously support the CCFA’s application, and will act on a funding level during their budget meetings. The State has locked-in a price with Motorola, so regardless of when the radios are actually purchased, the price will not increase.

In other business, the Board approved (on a case-by-case basis), family farm credits, and agricultural land credits, in accordance with the Code of Iowa. Cass County Engineer Trent Wolken informed the Board the Secondary Roads Department is continuing with projects such as installing driveway pipes, tree clearances and ditch work, while the weather is still good. He said also, there’s been no word from the DOT, with regard to the proposed closing of 570th Street, under Interstate 80.

Supervisor John Hartkopf reported that the CABEDA (Cass Audubon Border Economic Development Agreement) Board met Nov. 19th to discuss a potential client for the Valley Business Park, and that there is another client interested in pursuing financing for the same area. If the two interests could be combined, Hartkopf that it would bring a lot of tax dollars to the County. Negotiations and other details are still being worked out.