Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Piepkorn casts lone vote to reject federal grant for refugee services

3695540+0B20nUZjmec9gdlhVSTJWWlBNcnc.jpg
Dave Piepkorn
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — In a return to his practice of criticizing refugee resettlement, City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn singled out an $11,000 grant to the city to pay for interpreters at Fargo Cass Public Health.

"So it's a grant that we get, but the grant is from the federal government," he told fellow commissioners at their bi-weekly meeting on Monday, Sept. 25. "So the money, it's our tax money. They make it sound like it's a grant and it doesn't cost anything. Isn't that correct? It's a federal grant and so that's where the money comes from."

It wasn't immediately clear who "they" are, but the grant is part of the federal funding given to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a group he has criticized before. LSS then gives those funds to other local agencies.

Public Health Director Ruth Roman said her agency gets federal grants for many other services, such as maternal and child health care. She said she appreciates the funds LSS directs her way because they pay for services Public Health must provide one way or another.

The commission voted 4-1 to receive the funds, with Piepkorn casting the lone dissenting vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

His public complaints about refugee resettlement began last fall. He's called refugee resettlement an "unfunded mandate" because local governments, which pay the cost of providing refugee services, don't have a say.

LSS, which resettles refugees throughout North Dakota, has been a frequent target. Piepkorn has complained that the agency brings more refugees here so that it can receive more federal funds.

The $11,000 that Piepkorn singled out Monday night is typically found in the consent agenda, meaning staff considers it a routine matter not requiring discussion. Piepkorn asked to move the LSS grant to the regular agenda to talk about it and vote on it separately.

Roman, answering questions from commissioners, said about a third of Public Health's budget is from federal, state and local government grants. Federal funds are often given to state agencies to give out to local agencies, she said, but LSS is a special case because it is the federal government's designated refugee resettlement agency for North Dakota.

Related Topics: DAVE PIEPKORNCASS COUNTY
What to read next
After keeping their compensation mostly flat in 2020, Mayo Clinic gave its executives big raises in 2021, with 26 employees earning more than $1 million.
True or false? Christmas cards can kill. Or, how about this one — during the height of the holidays, more people die from heart attacks than any other time of the year. True or false?
Sanford Health has recently started a PLEDGE pediatric study to identify and predict who is at highest risk for Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. After going through with the study, the Erdmann
Respiratory syncytial virus, which continues spreading in the area, can cause serious breathing difficulties in very young children with tiny airways that can become obstructed.