Mineral lease district awards grants

The Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District has awarded a total of $200,000 in grants.

The district board awarded an $88,400 grant to Colorado Mesa University and Mesa County School District 51, a $61,600 grant to the East Orchard Mesa Fire Protection District and a $50,000 grant to the Lower Valley Fire Protection District.

CMU and the school district will use the grant for a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction machine for COVID-19 testing. The machine, the first of its kind in use in Western Colorado, will speed test results.

The East Orchard Mesa Fire Protection will use the grant to replace a 50-year-old water tender truck with a newer model. The vehicle will be used throughout the Grand Valley to fight fires.

The Lower Valley Fire Protection District will use the grant to pay for improvements to its new Loma fire station, including paving, fencing and landscaping.

The Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District distributes federal mineral leasing funds to local public entities to support infrastructure, construction and public service projects that address the effects of energy development.

Since its inception in 2011, the district has awarded more than $8.1 million to entities in Mesa County. For more information, visit the website located at www.mesaFML.org.