Grow Greene County awards $1.4 million in grants

Scranton Journal photo

There were several “winners” when Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation held its gala grant awards night at the Greene Room Events Center at Wild Rose Jefferson Tuesday evening. More than $1.4 million in grants was awarded.

Among the winners are all Greene County residents and everyone who passes through the county. The E 9-1-1 board was awarded $104,635 to upgrade radios for the Jefferson police department and the Greene County sheriff’s office.

Greene County taxpayers also “won” with a $55,000 grant towards the $135,000 cost of rehabilitating the large stained glass dome over the rotunda at the courthouse. The grant will decrease cost to county coffers for the much needed work.

Residents of Churdan can say “Wow!” after their public library received an $80,000 grant for an expansion project. The library board has been fundraising for three years, and this grant brings them close to what’s needed.

The Greene County Youth Athletic Association received $150,000 to leverage in the developing of a youth sport facility. The group hopes to develop youth through athletics, teaching them respect, trust and team work.

The city of Scranton received $40,000 for work on its water tower. Grand Junction Senior Housing received $36,755 that will be used to remodel apartments, and Greene County Conservation received $35,000 that will be used to leverage state and federal funds for the “In the Shadow of the Rails” art project. Locations for art along the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Greene County are Cooper, Winkelman Switch, and the trailhead in Jefferson.

Checks were also awarded for non-competitive grants:

  • Greene County Community Foundation, $182,565 – These funds were distributed by the Foundation last month.
  • Greene County Medical Center, $20,000 – The second installment of a five-year commitment to fund improvements and equipment needed to administer chemotherapy.
  • Greene County Development Corporation, $92,000 – Funds for a project at Scranton Manufacturing and Vision 2020.

Grow Greene County funds the Greene County and Paton-Churdan schools on a per pupil basis. Superintendent Tim Christensen said possible uses of the Greene County district’s $158,412 for a shade structure for the preschool playground, a digital sign, professional development for teachers, fitness bands for middle school physical education classes, and technology. Paton-Churdan superintendent Kreg Lensch said the Paton-Churdan district will use its $24,153 for a covering for the gym floor and a new sound system.

Cities except Jefferson receive funds on a per capita basis and representatives of each city told the intended use of the funds:

  • Churdan, $21,622 – Bulk water filling station.
  • Grand Junction, $46,168 – Five-year plan for revitalization, Main Street clean-up and the Community Center.
  • Jefferson, $50,000 – Housing $10,000; Vision 2020, $20,000; tennis court repair, $6,000; downtown work, $10,000.
  • Paton, $13,228 – Updates to community building, Main Street rehabilitation.
  • Scranton, $31,207 – Water tower work, park upgrade.
  • Rippey, $16,358 – Street repairs and infrastructure.
  • Dana, $3,982 – No one from the Dana city council was present.

Last year Grow Greene awarded less than a year’s worth of activity from the casino. The awards given out on April 4 represent a full 12 months of adjusted gross gaming revenue at Wild Rose Jefferson. Grow Greene Board members commented, “Wild Rose Jefferson is a gift to west central Iowa that keeps on giving. A glance at the list of recipients of this year’s grants, and their dollar amounts, makes clear that Greene County residents made a wise decision in their strong approval of the county’s gaming referendum a few years ago. We’re in a unique position among Iowa’s counties, funding nearly $1 1/2 million worth of grants for Greene and surrounding counties this year, including a sharply increased funding pool for the Greene County Community Foundation’s grants. We’re anticipating many beneficial project opportunities in the years to come.”

The Grow Greene County board of directors includes president Norm Fandel, vice president Craig Marquardt, secretary Peg Raney, treasurer Bob Allen and board members Lori Mannel, Brenda Muir, Kate Neese and Rick Morain. Board attorney is Mike Mumma. In November, the board hired Cindy Duhrkopf as part time administrative assistant.

Under agreement with Wild Rose Entertainment Inc., Grow Greene receives 5 percent of the local casino’s adjusted gross gaming revenues to distribute to nonprofit, governmental and charitable organizations. Of that total 4.1 percent went to projects in Greene County and 0.9 percent was shared equally by the community foundations in the six counties contiguous to Greene County.

Contiguous counties received $42,130 each. Representatives of most contiguous counties were present and told their uses for the funds:

  • Boone – split between seven projects.
  • Carroll – Browning Post Breda Legion, fixed building $6,000; $15,000 Child Care Center in Carroll; $20,000 New Hope Village expansion
  • Calhoun – EMS service, purchase four LUCAS devices for CPR
  • Dallas – six projects- Food Bank truck, a “Heinz 57” new building, Minburn parking lot for depot, Perry Old school house restoration, Perry HS welding program, Waukee library update
  • Guthrie – Six organizations- $1,607 Boys and Girls Clubs of SW Iowa; Tori’s Angels, $3,440; Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity $7,000; Historical Village, $8,990; Prairie Woodland Conservation, $10,500, paving three gravel crossings on RRVT; Guthrie County Fair, $10,6093 new small animal building
  • Webster – leverage grant funds for additional projects. Gowrie mayor planning playground updates.

    Grant recipients and Grow Greene County board members, with Wild Rose chief financial officer Tom Timmons (pink tie, front)l | Scranton Journal photo

 

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