Foundation awards fall grants

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


RIVERSIDE ? The Washington County Riverboat Foundation awarded 33 grants to nonprofit organizations Wednesday evening at the casino.

The highest grant awarded was to the City of Kalona in the amount of $150,000 for a new gym floor for the community center.

?The City of Kalona ? they?ve undertaken quite a project that will transform Kalona,? board President David Mitchell said. ?The city is building a new $5.3 million community center. I believe the footings are in and the steel was delivered and they?re getting started ? that is a 10,146 square foot gym with a 1/12 mile upper walking track, which is the focal point of the project. They?ve partnered with the YMCA of Washington County to manage their recreational services in the facility and in the community.?

The gym floor will have maple hardwood flooring, a divider, basketball hoops and seating for tournaments, with other finishing touches, Mitchell added.

The second-highest grant was awarded to Washington County Conservation in the amount of $120,000 for the Kewash Trail Kirkwood connection.

?The Washington County Conservation Board and the City of Washington are teaming up to create a paved trail spur connecting the Kewash Nature Trail to the Kirkwood Regional Education Center,? Mitchell said. ?This trail will go through Willow Pond and will be ADA compliant. Additionally, they will pave the trail west from Highways 1 and 92 going toward the bridge as funds allow.?

The estimated cost of the project was $682,000, he added.

The third-highest grant was awarded to the City of Wellman in the amount of $101,860 for an emergency shelter backup generator.

?The last I knew, there were 1,480 citizens in the City of Wellman,? Mitchell said. ?Anyway, those 1,480 citizens and the hundreds of people that live around Wellman know they have a tremendous facility at Parkside Activity Center. The facility has a kitchen, banquet room, gym space, showers and a day care area, also making it a very nice place to serve as an emergency shelter.?

The grant will allow the city to buy a backup generator for the facility, which makes it able to serve as a shelter in all worst-case scenarios, Mitchell added.

A total of $1,002,755 was awarded Wednesday evening by the Foundation.

Before the award presentation a regular meeting was held by the group at the casino.

There were six grant extension requests that were approved unanimously by the board with no abstentions. The grant requests were from WEDG for the Trail Plan Update, the City of Kalona for new exercise equipment, All Iowa AG Assoc. for roofing, the City of Keota for the Kewash Trailhead project, the Winfield Community Pool grant and Ainsworth Community Church for its church update project.

The list of the Fall 2017 grants was voted on and approved unanimously. Board members who abstained from grants include: Tom Basten from the Washington County Pheasants Forever grant and Kirkwood Foundation grant; Brenda Herrington from the Kalona Historical Society, City of Kalona and Kalona Chamber of Commerce grants; Dr. Mike Jorgensen from all of the grants awarded to Highland Community Schools; David Mitchell from the City of Kalona grant; Stephanie Schlabaugh from the City of Kalona grant; and Shawn Ellingson from the Washington Community Schools grant and Washington County Conservation grant.

Recipients of the Washington County Riverboat Foundation grants were as follows:

Kalona Historical Society, awarded $15,000, for Cedar Shingle roof repairs; Washington County Library Association, $53,970, for Southeast Iowa Digitization Project; Highland Community Schools, $3,500, for Highland Robotics; WCDC Inc., $14,904, for handicap accessible automatic doors; City of Wellman, $101,860, for emergency shelter backup generator; Riverside Area Community Club, $34,312, for Hall Park Improvement; Sonshine Outreach, $4,752, for home medical equipment;

Keota Community Schools, $5,575, for safety netting; City of Brighton, $15,000, for cemetery headstone reset; Richmond AMVETS, $20,000, for building addition; WACO Community Schools, $25,000, for Innovation Lab/Esports Arena; Keota Unlimited, $44,000, for Keota Ballfield improvements; Washington County Pheasants Forever, $7,000, for banquet supplies; Mid-Prairie Community Schools, $7,316, for Makers by Design;

ChildServe Inc., $2,000, for Grupo Manantial Programming; Washington Kiwanis AM?ers, $3,000, for Holiday for Kids; Kirkwood Foundation, $2,375, for Robotics Team; City of Kalona, $150,000, for Community Center Gym; Lone Tree Community Foundation, $2,890, furnace for Historical Society; Washington Chamber, $4,655, for LED lighting decoration; Keokuk County Health Center, $1,859, for Deacon Team equipment;

Highland Community Schools, $30,000, for temperature control; Riverside Emergency Services, $70,000, for Airpack replacement; Keota Community Schools, $8,100, for technology update; Riverside VFW, $6,000, for Hall remodel; Washington Community Schools, $27,000, for Lincoln Safety and Accessibility; Kalona Chamber of Commerce, $15,000, for traveling display booth; Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, $20,000, for Helping Hands;

Mid-Prairie Community Schools, $95,188, for High School Library Transformation; Jackson Township Trustees, $7,500, for brush truck; Highland Community Schools, $60,000, for aerospace engineering curriculum; City of What Cheer, $24,999, for playground replacement; Washington County Conservation, $120,000, Kewash Trail Kirkwood Connection.