Free money. That sounds like everyone’s dream. Grants are often seen as easy money; however, few people realize the work involved. Writing a grant and keeping track of the required reports can be difficult, even for government.
The Boone County Community & Economic Development Corporation (BCCEDC) act as grant writers under the guidance of the Boone County Commission.
“We worked with Larry (Lodato) on these until his retirement and now we will work with Kris (Mitchell).” said Commission President Eddie Hendricks. “Grants allow us to do more for the people of Boone County. They get more services and have more things to do.”
The majority of county grants come from federal and state sources to fund services and courthouse repairs and upgrades. A few recent ventures have been funded by private foundations.
Grant funds are typically restricted to a specific project or type of project, depending on the source. The money extends the limited resources of the county allowing more to be done while spending fewer taxpayer dollars.
The BCCEDC has assisted the Boone County Commission with grants for many years. During the past five years, they have secured over $2 million dollars in project funding for Boone County.
Recent grants have been received for a walking track at Dartmont Park, up to date Cameras and Security in the Courthouse, Recycling, a sprinkler system in the Courthouse, moveable track shelving in the Sheriff’s Department, the new Day Report Center, and the anticipated Amphitheater at Water Ways Park.
“Grants like the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority, Court Security, and Records Management pay for work on the courthouse. That building belongs to the taxpayers here. We take care of it for them,” said Hendricks.
Grants to fund recreation are more difficult to find. One example of a grant funded recreational project in the county are the walking trails at Water Ways.
Despite the effort needed to apply for and administer multiple grants, the Commission continues to request them. The BCCEDC currently has nine open, active grants which fund projects from recycling services to walking trails.
“As long as grants are available, we will asked for them,” said Hendricks.