The Mahaska County Community Foundation (MCCF) is pleased to announce its 2016 round of grant awards. The total amount distributed was just over $90,000 and benefitted 19 different projects throughout Mahaska County.
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.”
From Peoria in the north to Eddyville in the south, and from Lake Keomah and Barnes City in the east to Leighton in the west, the funds were spread across Mahaska County for a wide variety of projects. Oskaloosa had a number of successful applications that were very unique and creative. One of them was for a project promoted by “The Alley Katz”, a group of volunteers under the direction of Oskaloosa Main Street. Their goal is to create an open corridor from the Oskaloosa Square to Penn Central Mall in the alley between Bridal Dreams and Smokey Row.
This will create an enjoyable gathering space with seating, lighting, and planter and wall landscaping. Complementing this was the City of Oskaloosa’s bicycle parking plan application, with the goal of increasing the number of attractive bicycle racks that will encourage access to downtown by local cyclists. Another enhancement to Oskaloosa’s downtown was the application from Oskaloosa Main Street to bring Wi-Fi to the square, which would allow both residents and visitors to utilize high-tech social media while enjoying activities in the downtown area.
The following projects were awarded funding:
6,000 City of Barnes City—Playground Equipment
6,000 Leighton Ballpark Committee—New Dugout for Ballpark
2,200 City of Oskaloosa—Downtown Bicycle Parking Plan
3,000 George Daily Auditorium—Professional Music Touring Group “Transit Authority”
7,000 Oskaloosa Main Street—The Alley Project (south of Smokey Row)
6,000 Mahaska Community Recreational Foundation—Field Improvements at Lacey Complex
2,000 New Hope Community—Equipment for use in Community Gardens
3,500 Peoria Christian School—Improvements to Re-purposed Music Room
5,000 10-15 Transit—Expansion of one route for Oskaloosa Rides
15,000 Oskaloosa Christian Grade School—Air-Conditioning Project
3,500 Oskaloosa Main Street—Establishment of Downtown Wi-Fi
2,500 Food Bank of Southern Iowa—Cooler Upgrade
5,000 Habitat for Humanity—New Home Build in Oskaloosa
1,000 Central College—Disability Training Workshops, with William Penn University involvement
15,000 Mahaska County YMCA—Lodge/Day Camp Improvements at Lake Keomah
2,000 City of Eddyville—Historical Marker
3,000 Pleasant Homes of Barnes City—Improvements to Housing Facility
1,000 Personal Energy Transportation (PET) of Leighton—Drill Press
1,500 Southern Iowa Fair—Building Improvements