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County assists Evergreen with major grant request

BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners assisted Evergreen Youth and Family Services with its grant application process Tuesday.

At its meeting Tuesday, the board approved a waiver for the nonprofit youth services organization. According to county documents, Evergreen is seeking a 2020 grant through the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

"The waiver will allow Evergreen to apply for some funding and gives them the status as if they were a local government," County Administrator Kay Mack said. "The application process is basically to ensure nonprofits aren't directly competing with local governments for the grant dollars."

In Bemidji, Evergreen operates a youth shelter at 622 Mississippi Ave. NW and a center for counseling and skills training at 610 Patriot Drive NW. The nonprofit relies on grants to cover about 65 to 70 percent of the costs.

Another decision made by commissioners Tuesday was to formally convene the county board as the Community Health Board on a quarterly basis for the foreseeable future. The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners does act as the health board, but didn't have a formal schedule previously.

Meeting on a quarterly basis will improve and formalize the process for hearing and making decisions regarding health issues. Mack said the commissioners will convene as the health board quarterly from 2 to 3 p.m. before their work session.

As the health board, Mack said commissioners will be more involved with the Beltrami County Public Health Department and have more communication with community health care providers and partners.

Matthew Liedke

Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.

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