The Mahaska County Community Foundation (MCCF) is pleased to announce its 2015 round of grant awards. The total amount distributed was just over $92,000 and benefitted 21 different projects throughout Mahaska County.
Once again, the MCCF had far more grant requests than funds available, with all applications totaling just under $166,000. Board Member Pat Deur, a banker at US Bank in New Sharon, commented “It is always difficult to distribute limited funds when so many worthwhile causes are presented. But we can be thankful that this program will allow projects to move forward that otherwise might be delayed or not occur at all.
The funding source for these grants comes from the Iowa Legislature, which passed a law that required a distribution of a portion of all gambling revenue to those counties that do not have a gambling facility within its borders. Calvin Bandstra, a banker at Leighton State Bank and MCCF Secretary stated “This legislation has allowed gambling profits to be spread throughout the entire state, not just those counties in which casinos, racetracks, or riverboats are located.
This has proven to be a real benefit to local charitable and non-profit organizations, with the State Legislature acknowledging this as over time the percentage available has been increased by statute.” This year’s grant allocation encompassed projects in several Mahaska County communities, including Barnes City, Leighton, Eddyville, Fremont, and Oskaloosa. In addition, this was the first year in the program’s 10-year history that a grant recipient was located in Peoria, a small unincorporated community in the northwest part of the county. This grant will help address library upgrades and safety improvements at the Peoria Christian School. One of the larger grants of $10,000 was to the Mahaska County Development Group to assist in a comprehensive survey of the Oskaloosa area’s recreational and childcare needs, and to determine what role the existing YMCA can play in this.
And also appropriately, as 2015 is the 175th anniversary of the existence of Eddyville, that city received an award to construct a new historical marker.
The following projects were awarded funding:
$5,500 George Daily Auditorium—Youth Arts Program
4,000 Mahaska Co. Historical Society—Improvements to Nelson Pioneer Farm Home
3,500 City of Fremont—Storm Sirens
10,000 Mahaska Community Development Group—Master Plan Recreational//Childcare/YMCA Survey
5,488 New Hope Community, Inc.—Garden Kitchen Start-Up
5,000 Mahaska Community Recreational Foundation—Playground at Lacey Complex
4,536 Oskaloosa Rotary—Welcome Sign on West side of Oskaloosa
1,250 Oskaloosa Main Street—Signage/Branding
4,000 City of Eddyville—Historical Marker
2,500 Oskaloosa Boy Scout Troup 71—Transportation Van for Outings
3,500 Oskaloosa Christian Grade School—Technology Updates
7,500 Barnes City Fire & Rescue—Capital Improvements on Building
5,329 Peoria Christian School—Safety & Technology Improvements
10,000 Mahaska County YMCA—Building/Design Improvements
1,500 William Penn University—GPS Instruments
4,000 Oskaloosa Fire Department—Gas Leak Monitoring Equipment
4,000 Oskaloosa Middle School—Character/Arts Incentives
2,500 Oskaloosa Farmers Market—Start-up costs
1,700 Personal Energy Transportation in Leighton—New Saw
3,825 Mahaska County Agency on Aging—Ice Machine
2,500 Food Bank for Southern Iowa—Transportation Truck