GROW GREENE CROSSES $5.5M IN GIVING
By DOUGLAS BURNS
The continued fulfillment of a $4.5 million pledge for the Greene County Community School District’s competition gym and arts center.
City building improvements in Scranton ($60,000) and a parks update in Churdan ($45,000).
Motorists driving through Boone on U.S. Highway 30 can expect to see a train display thanks, in part, to the assistance of a $43,000 distribution to Boone County.
And the developing Jefferson animal facility and dog park received a $67,000 boost.
What’s more, the Floyd of Rosedale trophy associated with the Iowa-Minnesota football rivalry will soon have a Fort Dodge sculpture.
These were some of the highlights of the annual two-hour gift-giving bonanza that is the Grow Greene County Gaming Corp. awards banquet. On Monday at that event, the nonprofit associated with Wild Rose Jefferson Casino and Resort awarded $1 million to charities, local governments and other public-minded entities and pursuits in a broad, seven-county sweep around Wild Rose.
This doesn’t include the financing for the multi-year loan Grow Greene is using to fund the Greene County school project with what to date has been its signature contribution in the region.
The 2019 awards — the fourth year of the grant process — put Grow Greene County Gaming Corp. over the $5.5 million mark in total giving.
“It’s one success after another, and I think a lot of that represents what this facility has done for us,” said Norm Fandel, chairman of Grow Greene County.
Under an agreement with Wild Rose, Grow Greene received 5 percent of the Jefferson casino’s gross gaming revenues. Of that, 4.1 percent goes to projects and causes in Greene County, with 0.9 percent flowing into the neighboring counties of Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Dallas, Guthrie and Webster.
“It’s really exciting to see what communities are doing,” Fandel said.
Travis Dvorak, general manager of Wild Rose Jefferson, said the public spiritedness stems from the local connections of the casino group’s owners and management.
“Our owners, they’re all American, they’re all Iowan,” Dvorak said.
In total, Grow Greene distributed $139,344 to the Greene County cities of Churdan, Dana, Grand Junction, Jefferson, Paton, Rippey and Scranton.
Additionally, the six neighboring counties each received $43,000, money that flows into their respective community foundations so decisions can be made locally.
Here is what that money is doing:
In Boone County, Ledges State Park will see a playground update ($15,000) and $15,000 will flow to a larger project to stage a display of a locomotive and passenger rail car on the south side of Boone — what community leaders say will be a visible project that celebrates that city’s rich railroad history.
In Carroll County, the modernization of the library in the city of Carroll received a $100,000 grant, which will be distributed in $20,000 annual installments. Development of a Miracle League field and the all-inclusive Kellan’s Kingdom playground received $20,000.
Calhoun County plans to use funds to boost its family center at the fairgrounds and provide a “jaws of life” emergency vehicle extraction device to the Lake City Fire Department.
Dallas County funds will provide a special vehicle to allow firefighters in Adel to reach remote locations, improve the Food Bank of Iowa resources and create a fishing pier for people with special needs in Waukee.
In Guthrie County, the funds will be involved in new park playground equipment and help fund an art and ag hall for exhibitors at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds in Guthrie Center.
Webster County is using the funds, among a host of things, for creating a Floyd of Rosedale sculpture in a Fort Dodge street roundabout to celebrate the Iowa-Minnesota football trophy fashioned after a pig in the 1930s.
City funding in Greene County is as follows:
Churdan — $16,204 for renovation of the fire department and improving handicapped accessibility for the parking lot associated with the community room. Churdan also received $45,000 to update playground equipment.
Dana — $2,984 for playground equipment.
Grand Junction — $34,599 to develop a park on the former East Greene High School site.
Jefferson — $40,000 for downtown revitalization and neighborhood improvement.
Paton — $9,913 to finish a pickle ball court.
Rippey — $12,258 for finishing a fire station and repairing the community building.
Scranton — $23,386 for the renovation of Scranton City Hall. Another $60,000 will assist in improving city buildings in Scranton.
Other grants include:
The Paton-Churdan Community School District will receive $24,000 for a tile project.
The Greene County Community Foundation, which announced its awards last week, will receive $150,000. That foundation announced 23 projects.
The Greene County Development Corp. received $98,107 for economic-development efforts.
Moving Mountains Movement received $30,000 to add state-of-the-art lighting and sound to the History Boy Theatre in Jefferson.
The Greene County Historical Society received $20,000.
Grow Greene continues to fulfill a $100,000 grant over five years to the Greene County Medical Center.
Genesis Development will use a $40,000 award for a vehicle to assist people with disabilities get around the community.
The Jefferson Fire Department will equip itself with portable radios thanks to a $67,000 grant.