Grants from the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway totaling $494,890 were allocated at Thursday night’s Unified Government Commission meeting.
The grants ranged from $3,990 for After the Harvest produce procurement program to $47,495 for the Argentine Betterment Corp.’s healthy, active Argentine for all ages program.
The UG Commission voted unanimously to approve the recommendations.
The grants, totaling almost a half-million dollars, are given annually by the Hollywood Casino for social and community projects. For these funds, the UG Commission has decided to put an emphasis on grant programs that encourage healthy living.
The commission this year also went to a different method of selection for the grants, with the commissioners and mayor each selecting about $44,990 worth of grants. Commissioners were not required to keep the $44,990 within their districts.
Last year, under a different selection method, there were some UG Commission districts that did not receive any grants. Last year an independent selection committee made the grant selections. Western Wyandotte County was one of the areas that did not receive grants last year.
In January, a group of local organizations appeared at a public hearing and opposed the change from the independent selection committee, saying that the existing committee had a high level of ethics and transparency. Some of these organizations that were opposed to the change received grants tonight.
The average this year is almost $15,000 per grant, said Joe Connor, deputy county administrator, who has worked with the program since its start.
There were 54 applications received this year, with 34 recommended for approval, he said.
According to agenda information, the organizations receiving funding, including program, amount allotted and commissioner who recommended it:
After the Harvest, produce procurement program, $3,990, Townsend;
Argentine Betterment Corp., a Healthy Active Argentine for All Ages, $47,495, Markley, Murguia;
Argentine Eagles Post 213 American Legion, youth softball field renovation, $10,378, Walker, Markley;
Bishop Ward High School, ACE-Athletic Camp Expansion, $5,000, Kane;
Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Educational Foundation, Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Healthy Life Initiative, $19,230, Walters;
Caritas Clinics, moving the dial on diabetes and metabolic syndrome, $18,000, McKiernan;
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, New Roots for Refugees program, $10,990, McKiernan;
Concerned Citizens for Old Quindaro, Old Quindaro healthy lifestyle preservation, $5,000, Townsend;
Connecting for Good, Juniper Gardens healthy communities project, $18,000, Townsend, Philbrook;
County Fair Foundation, Fair Ground Shooting Park, $25,000, Walker, Kane;
Cultivate Kansas City, Beans and Greens, $21.787, Bynum, Markley, Townsend;
El Centro, Promotores de Salud – Comprando Rico y Sano, $5,000, Philbrook;
Freewheels for Kids Inc., Bike Clubs for a Healthy Wyandotte, $4,000, Philbrook;
Friends of Kaw Point Park, Kaw Point Park Activities Center restoration, $10,000, Townsend;
Hillcrest Ministries of Wyandotte County Inc., health and wellness for the homeless, $25,000, Johnson;
Historic Northeast Midtown Association Inc., Learn to Earn, $10,000, Townsend, Walker;
Kansas Black Chamber Foundation, KC Blue Dogs Sports Ministries, $3,500, Townsend, Walker, Johnson;
Kansas City Community Gardens, fresh fruits and vegetables for Wyandotte, $5,000, Philbrook;
Mo Kan 20-20 Vision Inc., Bonner Springs Sandlot Kids, $15,760, Walters;
Mo Kan 20-20 Vision Inc., outdoor classroom and trail development, $24,990, Kane;
Oak Ridge Youth Development Corp., nutrition, education and fitness initiative, $40,000, Holland;
Quindaro Gardens Institute, Parkwood Colony Neighborhood Center, $5,000, Townsend;
Revolve, Revolve KCK Earn-a-Bike Program, $7,990, Holland, Walker.
Rosedale Development Association, Rosedale infrastructure improvement project, $8,000, Bynum;
Downtown Shareholders, downtown economic enhancement, $12,000, Bynum, Johnson;
The Family Conservancy, Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids, $11,000, Philbrook;
Turner Community Connection, Healthy Turner Community Project, $12,165, Walker, Bynum;
Turner House Clinic, Turner House Healthy Lifestyles, $16,000, McKiernan;
Turner Recreation Commission, Turner Community Garden improvements, $11,650, Walker, Markley;
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Blessed Sacrament health program, $11,990, Bynum, Johnson;
Vaughn-Trent Community Services, fresh foods program, $15,000, Walker, Walters;
Wyandotte County Parks Foundation, Spring Valley curb, apron and sidewalk repairs, $27,495, Walker, Murguia;
Young Women on the Move, Youth Advocates for a Healthy KCK, $28,480, Bynum, Johnson and Philbrook.
To see the entire list of grant applicants, including the ones which did not receive funding, see the UG agenda for the May 28 meeting, page 332, at www.wycokck.org, under agendas, http://www.wycokck.org/uploadedFiles/Departments/Clerk/Agenda_and_Minutes/2015/Planning%20Zoning%20and%20Regular%20Session%20052815%20Agenda%20Packet.pdf.
The grants will be posted on the UG’s website next week, according to Connor.