Additional support for a library enhancement at Clinton Community College was requested at Wednesday’s Clinton County Development Association meeting. Ann Eisenman, executive director of the Paul B. Sharar Foundation, asked for an extention on the $100,000 grant already bestowed upon the school for the project, as well as additional funds to bring the project piggy bank up to an even $1 million.

The ambitious library enhancement project will allow for greater study space for CCC students, and should improve the school’s access to educational technology. Since the school is responsible for educating around 2,000 area residents at a time, Eisenman believes the expansion will be beneficial to the entire city.

“We just feel like with a million dollars in total funding, we’ll have an excellent project that will fit the needs of the entire community,” Eisenman said.

A total of $643,00 has been committed to the project through the Paul B. Sharar foundation and community donations, and the $100,000 from the CCDA will bring that total to $743,000. Eisenman said the school would like to break ground on the expansion at the conclusion of the current semester, but before that happens, school officials hope to have reached the $1 million mark. By the time the project is complete, Eisenman said the school plans on having spent $2 million.

CCDA board members approved a six-month extension of the $100,000 grant without hesitation, but Eisenman’s request for additional funding outside of the typical grant cycle warranted more discussion. Eisenman felt the project was worthy of special consideration given the school’s long history of working with the CCDA, and the project’s potential local impact.

“We feel like Clinton Community College serves so many people and so many businesses we feel like we’re outside of the norm,” she said.

Several board members agreed with Eisenman’s assesment of the project’s value, but said that since the Fund A grant process is just a few months away, they would prefer to see the school submit a traditional application.

In other action, the CCDA:

• Discussed the potential formation of an Emergency Services fund, in addition to the A and B funds used to distribute grant money.

Board director Jim McGraw said that CCDA grant consideration guidelines put an emphasis on projects that promote tourism. 

Though emergency services, like fire and police departments, have been awarded grants in the past, they may be at a disadvantage when competing against other projects.

“This would give them a more level playing field,” he said.

The third fund would be made exclusively available to local emergency services departments.

It would likely be divided into police, fire, ambulance and emergency management subcategories.

• Listened to a report from Wild Rose General Manager Tim Bollmann on the casino’s performance over the past year.

Casinos statewide experienced a strong December, and Wild Rose proved no different. The 6 percent increase propelled Wild Rose to a record setting $40 million-plus 2011.

This 1 percent increase over last year’s revenue puts the Clinton casino on a level with Dubuque’s Diamond Joe as the only venues in the market that didn’t see a decline over last year.

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