PEMBINA(AP) - The federal government plans to build a $13 million Border Patrol station in northeastern North Dakota to replace an aging building.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will build the 30,000-square-foot facility on 10 acres of land in Pembina, where about 50 border agents are based. The government is finalizing the property purchase and construction could begin in a few months, Customs spokesman Kris Grogan told the Grand Forks Herald.
Customs and Border Protection considered eight towns for the facility. The other finalists were Joliette, N.D., and Hallock, Minn.
The Pembina station was moved several decades ago to Noyes, Minn., about five miles away. Last year, the station was moved from the outdated, crowded Noyes facility back to Pembina, where Customs and Border Protection leases space in a deteriorating 80-year-old downtown building.
Pembina is part of Customs' Grand Forks Sector, which has about 220 agents at stations across North Dakota and Minnesota. That is about a ten-fold increase since 2009, when Customs began a push to beef up northern border security. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set aside $420 million to modernize at least 35 ports of entry along the border with Canada.
Customs in July opened an $8.5 million, 5,200-square-foot station in the North Dakota town of Maida.