CLINTON — The Clinton County Community Development Association on Wednesday awarded 36 grants totaling $504,000 to area organizations through the Fund B grant pool.

Review Committee Chairman Gerry Freudenberg distributed a spreadsheet detailing the committee’s recommendations to the board. A motion to approve the grant awards was passed unanimously. Freudenberg said the CCCDA received more than $1.3 million in funding requests from eligible applicants. Board member Matt Stammeyer noted that some of the entities seeking Fund B grants were first time applicants. Board President Jim McGraw said the board is pleased to be able to award the grants to the various organizations.

The largest grant, in the amount of $50,000, was awarded to Northeast Elementary School for playground renovations. Principal Diane Schumacher said the school has been looking to upgrade the surface of the playground for several years. She said the surface will be changed from wood mulch to a rubber composite material that will be softer and require less maintenance, as well as allow better access to the playground for students with special physical needs.

“We’re very excited to have this grant,” Schumacher said. “We are thrilled that the board has seen to it that we would be a worthy cause for their money.”

Schumacher credited the elementary school teachers for their fund-raising efforts toward the project and said two teachers, Nancy McClimon and Paula Ketelsen, have been very involved in the project. She said the two educators ran concession stands at school events and the proceeds went toward the playground renovation project.

The Northeast Elementary grant was one of several grants awarded to local educational institutions and organizations. The Calamus-Wheatland Elementary School received a grant in the amount of $15,000 for a mobile lab and smart board technology and the Camanche Childhood Development Board received a $20,000 grant for phase one of a planned gymnasium renovation. The Clinton Community School District Education Foundation received two grants, one in the amount of $30,000 for “Clinton Has the Best Seats in the State” and another for the Elementary LRC Book Buddy program.

In addition, the Camanche Community School District received a $30,000 grant for track renovations at Camanche Middle School. School District Superintendent Tom Parker said the current surface is showing wear and tear. He expressed gratitude to the CCCDA board for the grant award on behalf of the school district and said the project also would benefit the community.

“We certainly appreciate this grant award. The track is used, not only for our sports teams, but for the community as well, for example events like Relay For Life,” Parker said. This funding will certainly be something that will be put to good use. We are appreciative of the grant and wish to thank the board.”

The second highest-grant of $40,000 was awarded to the Clinton County Conservation Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase a new pontoon boat for the Blue Heron Eco Cruises.

“We’re obviously very happy about it. We’ve worked with Community Development in the past and they have been very supportive,” Conservation Board Executive Director Walt Wickham said. “I think it’s a great project and I’m glad they thought so too.”

Wickham said the boat will be custom built by Clark Boats of Bellevue and will be longer and wider than the current boat utilized for the cruises. The pontoon boat will have the capacity for 30 people and will be docked at the Rock Creek Marina. The Conservation Board currently offers the Eco Cruise on Thursday nights, weather permitting, through October at a cost of $6 per adult and $4 for children. To make a reservation, call the Rock Creek Marina at 259-1876.

Local volunteer fire departments also received grant awards. The Camanche Volunteer Fire Department received a grant in the amount of $28,000 for firefighter personal protective equipment. Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte said the funding will pay for new turnout gear for the firefighters. The Calamus Volunteer Fire Department received a $28,000 grant to replace a tanker chassis and the Delmar Volunteer Fire Department will use a $8,000 grant to replace an automated external defibrillator. The Low Moor Volunteer Fire Department received a $2,900 grant for equipment upgrades. The Grand Mound Volunteer Fire Department was awarded two grants, one in the amount of $5,000 for the 2008 Independence Day fireworks display and a second grant of $4,500 for the Grand Mound Ball Club Fencing Project.

Entities not chosen to receive a 2007 Fund B grant will be sent notification letters and applicants receiving grants will be mailed a grant agreement to sign and return. Entities receiving grants pay the full project amount and then send the CCCDA an invoice for reimbursement. The association pays 75 percent of the invoice submitted up to the total grant amount.

Review Committee Chairman Gerry Freudenberg distributed a spreadsheet detailing the committee’s recommendations to the board. A motion to approve the grant awards was passed unanimously. Freudenberg said the CCCDA received more than $1.3 million in funding requests from eligible applicants. Board member Matt Stammeyer noted that some of the entities seeking Fund B grants were first time applicants. Board President Jim McGraw said the board is pleased to be able to award the grants to the various organizations.

The largest grant, in the amount of $50,000, was awarded to Northeast Elementary School for playground renovations. Principal Diane Schumacher said the school has been looking to upgrade the surface of the playground for several years. She said the surface will be changed from wood mulch to a rubber composite material that will be softer and require less maintenance, as well as allow better access to the playground for students with special physical needs.

“We’re very excited to have this grant,” Schumacher said. “We are thrilled that the board has seen to it that we would be a worthy cause for their money.”

Schumacher credited the elementary school teachers for their fund-raising efforts toward the project and said two teachers, Nancy McClimon and Paula Ketelsen, have been very involved in the project. She said the two educators ran concession stands at school events and the proceeds went toward the playground renovation project.

The Northeast Elementary grant was one of several grants awarded to local educational institutions and organizations. The Calamus-Wheatland Elementary School received a grant in the amount of $15,000 for a mobile lab and smart board technology and the Camanche Childhood Development Board received a $20,000 grant for phase one of a planned gymnasium renovation. The Clinton Community School District Education Foundation received two grants, one in the amount of $30,000 for “Clinton Has the Best Seats in the State” and another for the Elementary LRC Book Buddy program.

In addition, the Camanche Community School District received a $30,000 grant for track renovations at Camanche Middle School. School District Superintendent Tom Parker said the current surface is showing wear and tear. He expressed gratitude to the CCCDA board for the grant award on behalf of the school district and said the project also would benefit the community.

“We certainly appreciate this grant award. The track is used, not only for our sports teams, but for the community as well, for example events like Relay For Life,” Parker said. This funding will certainly be something that will be put to good use. We are appreciative of the grant and wish to thank the board.”

The second highest-grant of $40,000 was awarded to the Clinton County Conservation Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase a new pontoon boat for the Blue Heron Eco Cruises.

“We’re obviously very happy about it. We’ve worked with Community Development in the past and they have been very supportive,” Conservation Board Executive Director Walt Wickham said. “I think it’s a great project and I’m glad they thought so too.”

Wickham said the boat will be custom built by Clark Boats of Bellevue and will be longer and wider than the current boat utilized for the cruises. The pontoon boat will have the capacity for 30 people and will be docked at the Rock Creek Marina. The Conservation Board currently offers the Eco Cruise on Thursday nights, weather permitting, through October at a cost of $6 per adult and $4 for children. To make a reservation, call the Rock Creek Marina at 259-1876.

Local volunteer fire departments also received grant awards. The Camanche Volunteer Fire Department received a grant in the amount of $28,000 for firefighter personal protective equipment. Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte said the funding will pay for new turnout gear for the firefighters. The Calamus Volunteer Fire Department received a $28,000 grant to replace a tanker chassis and the Delmar Volunteer Fire Department will use a $8,000 grant to replace an automated external defibrillator. The Low Moor Volunteer Fire Department received a $2,900 grant for equipment upgrades. The Grand Mound Volunteer Fire Department was awarded two grants, one in the amount of $5,000 for the 2008 Independence Day fireworks display and a second grant of $4,500 for the Grand Mound Ball Club Fencing Project.

Entities not chosen to receive a 2007 Fund B grant will be sent notification letters and applicants receiving grants will be mailed a grant agreement to sign and return. Entities receiving grants pay the full project amount and then send the CCCDA an invoice for reimbursement. The association pays 75 percent of the invoice submitted up to the total grant amount.

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