Groups present grant requests
On Wednesday evening the Washington County Riverboat Foundation Board (WCRF) heard from the Kalona Fire Department, Washington County Hospital, American Legion Post 427 of Wellman, Washington County Schools, and the Washington Betterment Committee about why they would like to receive grant money this spring.
This was the first time the WCRF asked grant applicants to present their grant requests to the board. The amount of time allotted to each grant applicant was 10 minutes with a five-minute question-and-answer session afterward.
Steve Yotty, Kalona Fire Department’s chief, was the first person to speak about a grant request. The fire department is asking for $250,000 of $545,000 for a new fire truck. The fire department would also take the grant over two-years.
“The reason for our project is called front-line engine pumper,” Yotty said. “The main reason we would like to have this put into our community is we are replacing a 1985 two-man cab pumper.”
The Washington County Hospital presented next. The hospital is asking WCRF for $180,000 of a $235,153 project.
“We are asking for some patient beds, some work stations in patient rooms, and also a monitoring system,” said Dennis Hunger, Chief Executive Officer of Washington County Hospital.
Hunger said the beds the hospital currently has are more than 15 years old and it is getting harder to find parts to fix them. The new hospital beds would have in-bed scales, which would help prevent falls, and would let the staff know if a patient is retaining fluid.
The work stations would assist patients with their quality of care, Hunger said. When the hospital was built in 2007, computers were on wheels and moved from room to room. Hunger said nurses and doctors don’t use the computer on wheels anymore and instead document outside of the patient’s room. With the new work stations it would enable documentation inside the patient’s room.
The telemetry unit that the hospital has now only monitors four rooms. With a newer telemetry unit it could be for six rooms, Hunger said. Also, the control system for the telemetry unit is going to need to be replaced soon.
Next was the American Legion Post 427 of Wellman. It’s asking for $225,000 out of $235,000 for a post building. Currently the group meets between several houses.
“We need a post building,” said Vice Commander Charles Singleman. “Right now we have none.”
The group tried to find a meeting location in Wellman but decided to purchase land to put its own building on.
The next group to speak about their grant request was the Washington County Schools, which is comprised of Highland Community School District, Mid-Prairie School District, and Washington School District (WCSD), and Crawfordsville Elementary School from the WACO Community School District.
This was the first time all of the schools went together on a grant request. The request is for $484,000 of $667,000 to improve security at the schools.
“This grant covers about 4,500 students in the county and about 500 staff members so its impact is pretty wide,” said Jeff Brock the WCSD technology director, who also wrote the grant request. “We have things in place that need upgrades. Door security is one of the big pieces we’re looking at.”
The final presentation was made by the Washington Betterment Committee that is asking for $3.5 million of a $7 million project for a new auditorium over at Washington High School. Jan Gallagher, who taught speech and drama in the WCSD for 30 years, and Robert Youngquist, who taught vocal music in the WCSD for 41 years, spoke on behalf of the committee.
“The auditorium is a classroom,” Youngquist said, “and as such it must be readily available to students and educators every day before, during, and after school, all year and even during the summer.”
The high school auditorium would not only be used for high school performances but also for a summer performing arts program for all of Washington County students that will kick off in 2014.