Program receives a boost in funds
The Heart of America Community Service program was dealt a blow last year when state funding and grants for the program and others like it across the state were cut.
That left the program surviving largely on the financial support from the governing entities it serves, as well as some funds from the N.D. Supreme Court and program fees from offenders.
Many of those governing entities have agreed to increase their funding this year to offset the loss of state dollars, including the city of Rugby and Pierce County.
The city of Rugby budgeted $6,000 this year – up from $2,000 in 2008. Pierce County increased its funding from $1,500 to $5,500. Bottineau County did likewise.
McHenry County officials agreed to keep their level of support at $3,600. The cities of Towner and Bottineau kept their contribution the same as last year, $900 and $2,000 respectively.
Rugby Mayor Dale Niewoehner said since its start in 1995, the program has provided a lot of benefits, not only allowing offenders the ability to work off their offenses rather than doing jail time, but also enabling cities and local organizations to receive worker help.
About the program
The program serves Pierce, Bottineau an McHenry counties as well as three cities.
Dave Denich, program coordinator, greatly appreciates the increased support this year and hopes in time state funding for the program will be restored. Efforts are ongoing to lobby for dollars to be included in the state budget.
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