Six Veterans Service Officers from five counties gave a presentation for innovation funding at National Joint Powers Alliance in Staples on June 2. From left, Jeff Woodford; Cass County, David Anderson; Wadena County, Pete Berscheit and Teresa Sorenson; both  of Todd County, Bob Nelson; Crow Wing County and Kathy Marshik; Morrison County. Their proposal for funds, to be used for various veterans service projects was one of those that will be recommended to the NJPA Board.

NJPA Innovation Funding has $350,000 for regional projects

Seven applicants presented their projects for consideration for NJPA Innovation Funding for cities and counties on June 2.

The 2016 Innovation Funding Review day provided an opportunity for applicants from city and county entities to present their projects, while member entities ranked and selected the ones with the most potential for regional impact and success. The formula for the program promotes out-of-the-box collaboration on projects that might otherwise not get off the ground. “We had a very successful day,” said Paul Drange, NJPA Director of Regional Programs. “The projects showed strong collaboration, there was healthy discussion, and we had strong participation from our region.” The NJPA Board of Directors will give final approval of the funding at its June meeting.

2016 Recommended Projects:

o Todd and Wadena County Corrections presented The Community Concern for Youth Program that is designed for early prevention, intervention and diversion of youth ages 10-17 (approximately), who are experiencing personal problems as well as problems with the law. On average, the Community Concern for Youth Program serves approximately 70 young people per year and requested funding for $70,235.

o City of Royalton proposed a Laser Shot simulator that would benefit 32 Region 5 law enforcement agencies. The purpose is to train, educate and improve the skills and knowledge of law enforcement officers that serve approximately 162,000 people that live within Region 5. It is very difficult to provide “real life” and “high risk” training scenarios for law enforcement. This is due to the fact that many of these situations are life-threatening for both the officers and the public. They requested funding of $100,000.

o Cass County presented their project for region and city branding, termed placebranding. The Cass County Economic Development Corporation would manage it. This would help the region highlight its assets, individual communities could maximize their impact, and build a culture of community collaboration. The overarching goals of the proposed project are to (1) attract potential workforce - primarily millennials; (2) attract businesses - either startups, or relocations; and (3) build a culture of collaboration among the municipalities of the region. CCEDC is requesting $100,000 in Innovation Funding for their Regional Marketing Plan. 

o The Veteran Service Officers of the following counties; Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena, are requesting $50,000. The request is to enhance veterans’ projects and improve initiatives in our areas. Requesting $5,000 for Veteran Grave upkeep and head stone repair located in Cass County. Crow Wing County is requesting $15,000 towards paying for a replacement van for our disabled veterans in the Central Minnesota area. Requesting $5,000 for the Randall Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars, Curtis-Olson Post #9073 project. Service organizations and veterans wish to move a Veterans Memorial from its current location by the Randall water tower where it is hidden and invisible to the community. Requesting $10,000 for Todd County’s Grand Army of the Republic or United States Civil War Graveyards. The Veterans Gravestones and monuments in these grave yards are in need of repair and upkeep. Requesting $15,000 for the Wadena Veterans Park Committee to build a Veteran’s Park. The committee is in the process of building a Veterans Park for Wadena County and surrounding area Veterans.

These awards are not intended to support single individuals, organizations, or communities, but are intended to support region-wide initiatives, consortiums and collaborations impacting many and serving a greater public purpose. NJPA does not select projects, but hosts the program and comes alongside the chosen regional initiatives while financially supporting them to ensure successful regional impact. This annual funding opportunity is in its third year, with $307,000 awarded in 2014, $411,933 in 2015 and now another $350,000 slated for the third round in 2016. The Innovation Review Day for education entities took place in May.

Projects that did not make the cut included the Eagle Bend Kitchen expansion, Crow Wing County’s aquatic invasive species prevention program and Morrison County’s proposal for certified training for people who work with trauma victims.

Advertising Deadlines

Deadline for advertisements and copy is Friday, noon.

Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

Deadline: Friday, noon


Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed