Border Patrol to build station in PembinaA $13 million Border Patrol station will be built in Pembina, N.D. U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to build the 30,000-square-foot facility on an undeveloped 10-acre parcel of vacant land in the southwest portion of the Pembina County community of 675.
By: Kevin Bonham, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
A $13 million Border Patrol station will be built in Pembina, N.D.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to build the 30,000-square-foot facility on an undeveloped 10-acre parcel of vacant land in the southwest portion of the Pembina County community of 675.
CBP currently is working to finalize the property purchase, according to spokesman Kris Grogan. He expects construction to begin when that is completed. Construction could begin within several months.
The agency recently notified the three finalists — Pembina and Joliette, N.D., and Hallock, Minn. — that, while all three meet environmental and other site-selection criteria, Pembina is the preferred location.
CBP agency initially considered eight potential locations, including the city of Cavalier, N.D., Hamilton, N.D., and three other sites in Pembina County.
The Pembina station originally was located in Pembina. However, was moved several decades ago to Noyes, Minn., about five miles away, along U.S. Highway 75.
Last year, the station moved from the outdated, crowded Noyes facility at the border back to Pembina, where the CBP currently leases space at the Pembina Land Port of Entry, a historic but deteriorating 80-year-old building in downtown Pembina.
“The proposed USBP station is needed to remedy the current facilities that are inadequate to meet the increasing needs of agency mission to achieving border security,” the CPB wrote in a letter sent to several agencies involved in the environmental assessment.
The new station will be built within a man-made dike that protects North Dakota’s oldest city to a 100-year flood level. The levee currently is in the process of being re-certified.
The site, which remained dry in the record floods of 1997 and 2009, is about one-half mile west of the Red River and one-tenth of a mile north of its tributary, the Pembina River.
CBP currently has about 220 agents in the Grand Forks Sector. That’s about a 10-fold increase since 2009, when the agency launched its northern border push in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Grogan.
Pembina has about 50 Border Patrol agents. The number is not expected to rise as a result of the new construction, he said.
Pembina is located along Interstate 29, about two miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border and 75 miles north of Grand Forks.
While the news is disappointing to Paul Clay, mayor of nearby Hallock, Minn., one of the finalists, he said he is not surprised.
“I felt we had everything in order. We met all the criteria that they required,” he said, adding that he worked for about two years to show that Hallock would be an ideal location.
“I think they planned on it being in Pembina all along. They just had to go through the process,” he said. “It’s just really disappointing, but we’re going to continue to do everything we can to make Hallock a good place to live.”