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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims

Heartland awards grants to historical group, fair, school

Mound City Historical Society officers, from left, Ron Nickelson, Meribeth Kehl, and right, Lorna Turley picked up a $5,000 ceremonial check from Heartland spokesman Doug Graham on Friday. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

By Doug Graham, Heartland Communication Specialist

Ten projects undertaken by organizations serving communities in and around Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s service area have been selected to receive a funding boost through Heartland’s Concern for Community grant program.

The Linn County Historical Society, the Linn County Fair, and Jayhawk-Linn High School were three of the 10 groups receiving grants.

“I often say that we’re not in the business of selling electricity, we’re in the business of powering rural lifestyles,” said Mark Scheibe, Heartland CEO. “Part of that is supporting the communities our consumer-members live in and around. This grant program is a great way to do just that.”

The Concern for Community program provides grants of up to $5,000 for capital improvement projects throughout the Heartland service area, which covers parts of 12 counties in eastern Kansas. Capital improvement projects are those that involve investment in structures or equipment that will last for many years.

Graham presented a $5,000 check to Wade Teagarden, chairman of the Linn County Fair Association. (Doug Graham/Heartland)

As a non-profit, member-owned cooperative, Heartland issues capital credits to members each year, but sometimes those capital credits go unclaimed. Because those monies were intended to be returned to the communities from which they came, Heartland's Board of Directors decided to use those unclaimed funds for community grants and started the Concern for Community program in 2019.

This year, 10 applications out of 26 received were approved for funding by the Heartland board. Heartland distributed a total of $37,000 in Concern for Community grants this year.

Jayhawk-Linn High School teacher Dawn Carlson receives a ceremonial check representing money to purchase new curtains for the school's auditorium. (Doug Graham/Heartland)

Projects selected for funding are as follows:

  • Mound City Historical Society Inc. was awarded $5,000 for roof repairs on historical buildings.

  • Linn County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new animal pens at the fairgrounds in Mound City.

  • Jayhawk USD 346 was awarded $2,500 for new curtains for the auditorium.

  • Fairview Chapel outside Moran was awarded $2,500 for new bathrooms.

  • Moran-Marmaton/Osage Fire Department was awarded $2,500 for new hoses and nozzles.

  • Woodson County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for renovations to the swine barn at the fairgrounds in Yates Center.

  • Cato Historical Preservation Association Inc. was awarded $2,500 for painting at the Cato Christian Church between Fort Scott and Pittsburg.

  • Hammond Community Center in rural Fort Scott was awarded $2,000 for roof and HVAC repairs.

  • Crawford County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new lights and wiring at the fairgrounds outside Girard.

  • Crawford County Fire District No. 4 was awarded $5,000 to help purchase a virtual fire extinguisher training system to be shared with area fire departments and businesses.

Applications were accepted in the month of September and selected by the Heartland Board of Directors in October. Heartland plans to reopen applications in summer 2023 for the next round of funding.

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