The Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) works tirelessly on improvement and promotion of Clarke County, Iowa, its local businesses, supporting the community in any way it can. As the Qualifying Sponsoring Organization for Lakeside Hotel and Casino, the CCDC receives a percentage of gaming revenues that, in turn, funds their robust grant program. These grants are made available for local non-profit programs, educational opportunities, community enhancements and more. Seeing as it’s the CCDC’s 50th Anniversary, it seemed appropriate to mark 2019 with another $1 Million year.
“We see a wide range of grant requests,” said Elizabeth Simpson, Program Director for CCDC. “From churches to schools to public safety and local development, 2019 was a very busy year in Clarke County.”
Community groups and local, non-profit organizations are able to request grant funds through the CCDC by working with the CCDC team on various proposals. Each proposal is unique, requiring detailed information about the need for the grant and how the funds will be used. Requests are then evaluated by the CCDC grant committee at monthly meetings.
Some of the significant funding provided to reach that $1 million mark includes over $160,000 for the development and construction of the new baseball and sports fields in Murray. Clarke Schools received grant money totaling $437,700 for their ongoing campus improvements and renovations and the City of Osceola was a recipient of a $156,000 grant for the purchase of what is now the Osceola Municipal Golf Course.
Bill Trickey, CCDC’s Executive Director was quick to point out that some of the smaller grants can make a bigger impact on the community.
“The board really likes to focus on community growth,” said Trickey. “Through some special grant options, smaller organizations are able to create significant opportunities for those in need.”
In the spring of 2019, the CCDC board approved $10,000 to help the Hopeville community pave a road to their cemetery. Each year, the board provides a $10,000 grant to the Dollars for Scholars program which is split between the Clarke and Murray school district for graduating students. The Clarke County Animal Shelter also received a $4,500 grant to help improve the housing and safety of their animals. Most recently, CHCSI, Clarke County’s newest mental health and medical support access center received $50,000 for the completion of their new 7,400 square foot facility on West Washington Street.
Numerous grants in 2019 were approved for public safety and community support. The Sheriff’s Department was granted funds to facilitate the addition of Sky, their new Belgian Malinois police dog. The EMS and Fire departments also received grants for specialty firefighting equipment as well as new vehicles to make rural rescues easier. Clarke County Hospital was provided a grant to help in recruitment of a new physician’s assistant to help serve the community’s ever-growing needs.
While just a quick snapshot of the diversity of grant opportunities through the CCDC, the funds mentioned above have gone to make a significant impact to Clarke County’s quality of life, the health and safety of the community, as well as the future sustainability of the entire area. Other grants distributed in 2019 included funding for paved sidewalks from Q-Pond to the Clarke Middle/High School campus, demolition grants, the extension of natural gas to the Eddy Saylor business park, and more.
“We recognize none of this would be possible without the help from our members and the incredible contributions from Lakeside,” said Bill Trickey. “We see major development opportunities on the horizon and expect 2020 to be an even better year for everyone.”