Enbridge recently awarded the Osage Nation with its “Safe Community” grant in the amount of $20,000.
The money will be used toward building a broadband tower, to be placed near the Osage Nation Emergency Services office, said Jill Jones, Osage Nation Energy Services LLC board chair. Jones applied for the grant last year.
“It’s exciting news and we are very glad to be able to contribute back to the Nation in this way,” Jones said. “The excellent working relationship established with Enbridge over the past 10 months, and the assistance provided to their project so far, played a big role in moving this grant forward.”
Jones said Enbridge normally awards $1,000 to $10,000 for the Safe Community grant and felt that Enbridge was being very generous, showing how beneficial the arrangement with Enbridge has been.
Jones said the initial idea to apply for the grant came from a conversation she had with the Nation’s Information Technologies director, Mark Kirk. He said that the ON Emergency Management Systems office did not have a reliable voice and data connection at their office and this caused a restriction in the services they provide. Several initiatives of their emergency action plan can’t be completed without high-speed internet service.
“We are now working to get the processes in place to purchase and install the equipment. Once purchased with the grant money, this equipment will be owned completely by the Osage Nation and operated by the IT department,” Jones said. “I think this is an excellent example of how we can all work together for the good of the Nation. I hope we continue to find more opportunities where having a business entity like ONES active in the local business community can benefit the Nation and the local area.”
According to Enbridge.com, Enbridge provides grants to local first responders in areas of Enbridge operations to help with equipment, training, public awareness and volunteer recognition. Additionally, Enbridge supports safety initiatives that are important in the communities where they operate, according to the site.