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|10/26/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Clinton County Development Agency looks to clean up funding policy|
By Jeremy Huss
The Clinton County Development Association (CCDA) is making changes to its funding policy to clean up state and federal code language regarding who is eligible to apply for grants from the non-profit license holder for the Wild Rose Casino.
CCDA board member Les Shields said Oct. 16 he is working on revisions that clarify grant amounts available through its two funding pools and remove unnecessary and confusing references to sections of the IRS code of regulations and the Iowa Code.
Shields said he is adding language to specify Fund A grants are for projects of $150,000 or more and Fund B grants are for projects of $75,000 or less.
He also is adding wording that states CCDA must fund all of its long-term financial commitments before distributing additional money through the two grant pools as well as a section stating any money left over once all grants have been distributed will revert to CCDA's general fund, also referred to as the director's choice fund.
Shields said he was planning to meet later in the day with accountants at Winkle, Parker and Foster to discuss revisions intended to eliminate overlap related to the various code sections that define who is eligible, such as 501(c)3 charitable organizations and 170(c)1 government bodies.
Shield said his review of the code language shows some of the sections specified in CCDA's policy are redundant.
It also appears CCDA may not have been properly handling grants for organizations that aren't classified as 501(c)3.
AmVets and the American Legion are two such organizations, Shields said, because they are classified under code section 501(c)19 and are required to establish a charitable fund with separate finances and provide documentation to the IRS.
Shields asked if the board wanted to restrict future awards only to 501(c)3 organizations or to change policy to match current practices, the consensus was to continue allowing organizations like the Legion to apply for funds.
Shields said he would meet with accountants at Winkle, Parker and Foster to fix the policy language for a vote on the revised policy in November.
CCDA declined to provide a copy of the policy draft to media outlets.
Board approves extension,
extra funding for band shell project
The CCDA approved allocating an additional $50,000 toward the renovation of the Clinton riverfront band shell and agreed to extend the completion deadline from Dec. 31 to May 15 at the request of city administrator Jessica Kinser.
A bid was awarded Oct. 8 to Clinton Engineering for approximately $235,000, which is beyond the original budget, Kinser said.
Officials have been able to lower the cost to $204,000 with "value engineering" modifications, but the cost remains above the $150,000 allocation CCDA approved earlier this year.
The board agreed to allocate an additional $50,000 to the project, with the funds coming from the remainder of the $200,000 set aside for the Vision Iowa project.
Administrative hiring process
The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is progressing in its effort to hire a new administrative assistant following the resignation of Tracy Trenkamp in August.
Chamber representative Nathan Sondergroth said 27 resumes have been received and will be narrowed to six finalists before scheduling candidate interviews. Sondergroth said he expects the chamber to interview three or four candidates.
Brig Tubbs will represent the CCDA on the interview committee. CCDA contracts with the chamber for administrative services.
Casino revenue was down $90,000 in September, a 3 percent drop from August, interim general manager Gus Linke reported.
Revenue year-to-date is $27.3 million, down 7.6 percent from 2012.
Linke said table gaming is declining due to younger gamblers favoring electronic games.
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