Mineral lease cash to support towns, schools

Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District grants awarded this spring will pay for school security and technology projects, camera equipment, street repairs, and fire safety needs.

The district’s board of directors grants money each spring and fall to entities impacted by natural resource activities in the county, according to a press release. This spring’s grant recipients will get a total of $459,984, down significantly from last fall’s grant offering of $1.78 million.

Mesa County Valley School District 51 will receive the largest grant award, with $150,000 for school safety updates. The district has applied numerous times for federal mineral lease grants to help pay for the updates, which include installing panic buttons at 42 district buildings and keyless lock systems at three high schools.

The grant will pay for keyless lock system installation at Fruita Monument, Grand Junction and R-5 high schools. Keyless lock systems allow a staff member to lock every door in the school during an emergency by swiping a card at one of numerous sensors around the school. Keyless lock systems have previously been installed at Central High; Grand Mesa, Mt. Garfield and Redlands middle schools; Clifton and Rocky Mountain elementary schools; New Emerson School and the Riverside Educational Center. The district is in the process of installing a keyless system at Palisade High School.

The panic buttons, already installed at Orchard Avenue and Taylor elementary schools, will be installed in all remaining district buildings and will allow staff to contact the district’s security company and law enforcement in an emergency without having to dial a phone.

Plateau Valley School District in Collbran will also receive a federal mineral lease grant. The district will get $116,049 for a wireless internet and technology improvement project.

Other grant recipients are:

■ Clifton Sanitation District, which will get $60,000 for closed-camera inspection equipment.

■ The Town of Palisade, which will get $50,000 for the Palisade Fire Station alert system.

■ The Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority, which will get $50,000 to pay for aircraft rescue firefighting personal protective equipment.

■ The Town of De Beque, which will get $33,935 for street repairs.


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