By John Speer
Central Iowa Press
Community representatives from across Tama County were on hand on Wednesday night, June 17, to accept awards totaling nearly $100,000 from the Tama County Community Foundation. Funds are awarded to community betterment applicants each year from a combination of state gambling tax proceeds and proceeds from interest on endowments.
Mark Foster, representing North Tama BASIC accepts an award from Sue Carnahan.
Photo by John Speer
Applicants asked for some $132,000 this year with 29 applications receiving approval. This is the fourth year the grants have been made. The program was established by the Iowa Legislature to allow counties without state-licensed casinos to share in a small amount of the tax revenues generated in the 12 counties which have gambling casinos under state licensing.
The Meskwaki BingoCasinoHotel west of Tama-Toledo in Tama County is Native American-owned and is operated under a compact with the State of Iowa as provided by federal law and is not a part of the grant project.
The money awarded will be used for a wide variety of improvements - to help pay for interior work on the Traer Shaker Gallery to window restoration and a sign for the Dysart Historical Society and automatic door openers at the Mental Health Center of Tama County.
In Gladbrook, one grant will aid the Fitness and Wellness Center and Tama County Tourism received funding for their Visitor's Guide and a tear-off map.
The City of Clutier will be able to get the 1995 computer system upgraded, a snowblower will be bought by the Wieting Theatre in Toledo and new carpet and a BluRay system will benefit the Traer Theatre.
Tama County Historic Preservation received assistance for the Haven School restoration project, the City of Chelsea received funds for beautification work, Kids Corner Daycare in Toledo will purchase new kitchen equipment, there will be new lighting at the Louise and Lucile Hink Tama Public Library and PBS on DVDs will be added to the Toledo Public Library collection.
Funds to aid the North Tama Booster Club with baseball fields, a technology upgrade and a mobile computer lab received grants for the Union Middle School, Dysart, funding for a 4H stand for the Gladbrook Community Foundation has been provided and funds for North Tama Basic - sowing seeds for youth.
Tama County Economic Development will be able to get software and marketing upgrades, the Tama County Nature Center at Otter Creek Lake and Park received assistance for a new exhibit room, Pied Piper Daycare in Traer will have a new clothes washer and dryer, folding picnic tables will be purchased by the Traer Winding Stairs Festival and the Dysart Lions Club received help for a new park storage building
Additional services to seniors will become available due to a grant to the Tama County Council on Aging, the Traer Library will add more large print books to the collection, an emergency shelter for Vining had funding directed to it and funds for gutters and downspouts for the Chelsea Community Building were provided.