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home : news : news Tuesday, May 24, 2016

5/24/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Central, Northeast schools receive grants for facility projects
Major facility projects at the Central and Northeast Community School Districts will move forward with some financial assistance from the Clinton County Development Association (CCDA).

The CCDA announced its 2014 Fund A grant winners Wednesday, allocating $500,000 to six area projects, with the largest grants going to the Central and Northeast school districts.

The CCDA awarded $120,000 to Central Community Schools for an athletic facility addition that includes an addition to home and visitor football bleachers, two 25-second play clocks, a visitor's press box, seating and netting at competition baseball and softball fields, and leveling and irrigating practice baseball and softball fields. The total cost of the project is estimated at $392,700.

The association awarded $100,000 to Northeast Community Schools for an innovative classroom as part of the district's ongoing gym and science classroom addition.

The innovative classroom, one of four new science rooms planned as part of the addition, will focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Superintendent Jim Cox said the funding will cover the cost of extra data connections and other technology, such as equipment for a robotics course, and will allow the district to put existing project funds to work in other areas.

"We're delighted. It'll help the STEM room especially, so that will definitely help with the cost . . . There's a couple things in the other science classrooms this'll enable us to do also, so it really helps," Cox said.

Other CCDA Fund A grant awards include $100,000 to the city of Clinton for the 19th Avenue North extension project, $70,000 to the Clinton Fire Department for a new ambulance, $80,000 to the Paul B. Sharar Foundation for a library project at Clinton Community College and $30,000 to the DeWitt Area Veteran's Memorial project.

DeWitt resident Mike Osmun, a volunteer with the veteran's memorial project, said the grant will provide a needed financial boost but won't put the project over the hump because it fell short of the group's request for $80,000. The money will be used for a granite monument that costs $160,000, and volunteers will need to raise another $50,000 to cover the full cost, Osumn said.

The veteran's memorial is located along north 6th Avenue, on the southwest corner of Elmwood Cemetery.

Funding for CCDA grants comes from a percentage of profits at the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton as a condition of its operating license.

CCDA received 12 grant applications totaling $2.7 million, officials said. The six requests that were funded were the only ones of the 12 applications to meet the minimum number of points under the association's grant scoring procedure.

Other business

In other business at the May 21 CCDA meeting:

•General manager Gus Linke announced he has resigned from Wild Rose, where he has worked for 14 years, effective May 23, to take a position with Clinton National Bank. The interim general manager will be Travis Dvorak.

Linke reported April receipts were $2.74 million, down $530,000 (16 percent) from the prior year. Statewide gaming revenues were down 2 percent, and the local market was down 3.5 percent.

"The state's still soft. Our market is still soft," Linke said, adding the casino plans to continue with live entertainment and product giveaways to try to boost attendance.

•The board approved an amendment to the policy for the public safety fund to designate the Clinton County Sheriff's Office as the fiscal agent for public safety grants in accordance with a recommendation from the state auditor.

•Approved a 90-day extension for the Clinton riverfront band shell project.

•Appointed board members Jim McGraw, Alice Schnepel and Les Shields to a subcommittee to consider revisions to CCDA's policy on consecutive funding requests.

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