The new sidewalk paved at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum where Harper Construction Inc. is in the progress of completing.
By DANA HERNANDEZ
FORT HALL — There are a few construction projects that are being implemented on the Fort Hall Reservation with some Harper Construction Inc. is working on.
Bryce Harper who is managing the projects said he has about two to three tribal members working on each of them.
Harper said the main projects his company is working on include the installion of a sewer and water line for the Jim Drinks Estate, the paving of a new sidewalk at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum and renovating the storage area at the Property Building.
With the Drinks Estate, Harper said he has three tribal members helping to install a sewer line for what will be the future home site for the eight tiny COVID-19 homes. The Jim Drinks Estate is located on the corner of Laughran and Reservation Roads. A foreman who was out at the Drinks Estate said once they are done with the sewer line, they will be installing a water line. They’ve been working on the Drinks Estate for about two weeks and are expected to have the sewer and water lines completed by December 15.
Harper also said they just finished doing the sidewalks for the Museum. The entrance and the side door of the Museum have new sidewalks that connect to a visitor’s informational bulletin. The tribal employee, who was finishing the sidewalks at the Museum site, said they have been working on the sidewalk project for two weeks and they are currently leveling out the landscape that is closest to the road. He said in the spring they will return to do the rest of the landscaping around the Museum.
Sewer line in progress at the future site of the COVID-19 tiny homes on Laughran Road and
Tribal Public Information Officer Randy’L Teton said the FHBC approved the renovation projects to be paid with CARES Act funds. The Museum, TOEM building, Property, Youth Building, and Fire Station renovations were all approved. Teton said in the press release the Museum was having problems with sewer and water seepage, so the septic has been transferred from the tank to the main sewer line.
Harper said they have been working on the enclosure at the Property Building for about a month and are expected to have it completed by December 15. The area they have been renovating was an open fence and storage area. Harper said they have turned it into an office and lockers area, so that tribal departments can come and pick-up their orders and supplies in a no-contact order. Harper said this week they are installing the sheet rock in the areas and once that is done he will tape and paint it. Once painting is done, he will then pass the project off to another company who will be installing the electric, heating system, and lockers area. Two tribal members are assisting Harper with the project.
Teton said the lockers will be individual and equipped with an electronic system. A separate workspace will also be installed for their staff and tribal personnel to access their receivables.
Additionally, there is an office trailer next to the TOEM building and Harper says they are working on beginning the sidewalks for that. Also, at the fire station they plan to create a new sidewalk for the building that was recently installed.
Renovations underway at the Sho-Ban Tribes Property Department building.
Harper said they are working on finishing the Youth Building, which will be near the Early Childhood Development Center and Tax Commission, and Harper said they just finished doing a foundation for the home to be placed there. They will then be using a backhoe and doing a sidewalk for it as well, and estimated time for completion will be a week or two, says Harper.
Teton advised the Tribal Youth Program’s grant they received from the OJJDP and the CARES Act funds have been used to purchase the new Youth Building. The modular was purchased from Clayton Homes in Idaho Falls and is scheduled to be delivered this week of November 16.
Fort Hall COVID-19 chart as of Wednesday, November 18.
FORT HALL — the Tribal Office of Emergency Management (TOEM) reports there are 48 current COVID-19 cases being monitored on the Fort Hall Reservation.
TOEM officially reports the weekly number of COVID-19 cases. The total number of tribal members impacted by COVID-19 is currently at 472 cases (this number includes positives and recovered) since the pandemic started in early April. Of the 472 cases, 413 have recovered, 1 is currently hospitalized, and there are 11 reported deaths due to COVID-19.
Tribal health officials are seeing the younger population are more likely to spread the virus because they are out in the community and may not have symptoms. If you have a sick child, please keep them home and get them tested and encourage them to wear their face masks at all times in the public. According to Fort Hall I.H.S, there is a significant rise in positive cases in the community.
With the holidays next week, health officials are predicting a spike in cases and are stressing to not have large gatherings with other families traveling in or coming from another home. According to health officials, when an asymptomatic (a carrier for the virus showing no symptoms) person is out in the community, they can have up to 7-19 days of spreading the virus to others.
Tribal Health is currently experiencing a decrease in contact tracers. If you are contacted by a “Contact Tracer.” it means that you were in close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19 and you will be instructed to schedule a COVID-19 test immediately and quarantine. Quarantining is important and to check if you develop COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. If you get a message from a contact tracer, please return the phone call back immediately, so they can provide support. Tribal contact tracers are (please take note of numbers in case you get a call from one of these tracers) Feliciana Fullmer is at 208-478-3901, Natasha Watson is at 971-724-6749 and Jarrod Williams is at 208-478-3906.
TOEM stresses to everyone stay at home if you’re sick. Both I.H.S and HRSA offer free testing on the Reservation. If you think you have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 or have symptoms, call the IHS hotline at 208-238-5494 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Now is the time to get a flu shot. Health officials are stressing to the Tribal membership to get a flu shot. It is important in these times to be protected from other sicknesses like the flu. Please visit the I.H.S. clinic to schedule a free flu shot.
Starting Thursday, November 19 and every third Thursday of the month, there will be a Food Distribution of food boxes for the Fort Hall community at the Old Casino (south side). The Idaho Food Bank is teaming up with the Tribes to provide this community assistance. Please be early as there will only be 200 food boxes for EACH distribution, first come, first serve basis. Be prepared to answer: how many adults, children and seniors (elders) do you have in your household.
There will be no Facebook Live this week and will post on Tribes Facebook when there will be a next Facebook Live for next week due to Thanksgiving holiday.
For any health concerns and if you develop symptoms, please call Fort Hall Indian Health Service (I.H.S) at 208-238-5494 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or Community Health Center (HRSA) 208-478-3987. For tribal resources check out the Tribes COVID-19 website at http://sbtribes.com/covid-19/.