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  • Writer's pictureSpecial to the Journal

Linn County Museum, JLHS receive grants from Heartland

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative representative Doug Graham presents a $5,000 check to Theresa Miller, president of the Linn County Historical Society and museum curator. The grant will be used for several things, including a new sign on U.S. Highway 69 directing visitors to the museum. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

By Doug Graham, Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative

Projects undertaken by two Linn County organizations received funding boosts this month thanks to grants from Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s Concern for Community program.

USD 346 Jayhawk-Linn and the Linn County Historical Museum, Visitor Center & Genealogy Library each received grant awards of $5,000.

At USD 346 Jayhawk-Linn, the funds will be used for new lighting and sound equipment for the high school auditorium in Mound City. The district received a $2,500 award from Heartland last year to help pay for new stage curtains.

Meanwhile, the Linn County Historical Museum will use grant funds to purchase new signage to direct visitors—including those driving by on US-69—to the museum in Pleasanton.

"As a cooperative, we understand that our success is directly linked to the well-being of our communities,” said Mark Scheibe, Heartland CEO. “We're proud to support these projects that will make a lasting difference in the lives of our members."

JLHS Assistant Principal Kris Holt, from left, and JLHS Principal Bob Beckham receive a check from Graham that will be used to make upgrades to the school's auditorium.

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.

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, six applications out of 28 received were approved for funding by the Heartland board.

Additional projects selected for funding were:

  • Bourbon County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for picnic tables at the pavilion and a new sound system in the show barn at the fairgrounds in Fort Scott.

  • Restore the Four was awarded $5,000 to help repair the roof of the small animal building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds outside Girard.

  • Stark 1888 Event Committee was awarded $5,000 for repairs and upgrades at the Stark community ballfield.

  • USD 101 Erie was awarded $5,000 to assist with construction of a new animal science building in the high school.

Applications were accepted in the month of July and selected by the Heartland Board of Directors in August. Heartland plans to reopen applications in summer 2024 for the next round of funding.

About Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative Inc.

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. powers rural lifestyles throughout more than 11,000 locations in eastern Kansas. Heartland’s service area includes consumer-members in 12 counties, including Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.

Heartland REC traces its roots back to three original rural electric cooperatives: Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company, Sugar Valley Electric Cooperative Association, and Sekan Electric Cooperative Association. Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company joined with Sugar Valley in 1975 to form United Electric Cooperative; United Electric Cooperative joined with Sekan Electric Cooperative Association in 1996 to form Heartland.

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