Riverboat Foundation awards more than $1.1 million in grants

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The city of Washington’s wellness park was the big winner on Nov. 20 when the Washington County Riverboat Foundation awarded more than $1.1 million in fall grants.

The WCRF awarded the city of Washington $650,000 – payable over two years – for phase one of its wellness park.

The project includes a four-ballfield complex, along with two large multi-purpose soccer fields, a concessions and restroom building and a trail connecting to the Kewash Nature Trail.

“The ambitious vision of the final phase one project will finally provide the amenities that the community has needed for many years,” WCRF President Tom Baston said. “We understand the importance that this will have on our area providing growth and visitation to this county.”

The Kalona Volunteer Fire Department was another of the 15 organizations receiving grants.

The department was awarded $60,028 for additional protective equipment.

“Over the past five years, Kalona firefighters have responded to an average of 90 calls per year, with a large portion of these calls involving grass fires,” Baston said. “The need for personal protective equipment for firefighters when fighting grass fires is crucial for their safety.”

The Kalona Historical Society received $24,783 for two new exhibits in the newly constructed Wahl Museum.

The exhibits will cover the history of Native Americans, early pioneers and area railroads from 1835-1879.

The other fall grant recipients last week were:

• Washington County Safety Committee – $3,606 for four automated external defibrillators.

• Keota Community Schools – $5,450 for a computer technology upgrade.

• Walnut Township – $10,080 for cemetery revitalization.

• Highland Shooting Sports equipment – $12,105 for a new voice activated trap thrower, replace the exciting trap house, and build new shooting stations at the Riverside VFW.

• Salvation Army Iowa City Corps –$12,500 for its hot meals program.

• Main Street Washington – $25,000 for its incentive fund.

• City of Keota – $26,365 for phase two of its ball field improvements.

• Brighton Fire Department – $26,440 for a trailer and ice rescue equipment.

• Saints Peter and Paul Church and Clear Creek Heritage Association – $30,000 for brick work and an ADA ramp.

• Washington County Emergency Management – $50,000 for furnishings for the communications center.

• Englert Theater – $50,000 for its marquee restoration project.

• Washington County Hospital and Clinics – $147,209 for an upgrade to its MRI room.

The fall grants totaled $1,133,586. Baston said there were 54 grant applications for the fall grants.

In 2019, the WCRF has awarded a total of $2,673,689 in grants.

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