$1,687,784.55 Awarded to Palo Alto County Organizations
Palo Alto County residents were more than ecstatic after Friday night’s Palo Alto Gaming Development Corporation’s Grant Awards.
Since 2006, Wild Rose Casino has provided Palo Alto County with almost 20 million dollars in grant money. Because of Friday night’s 2017 Grant Cycle Awards, an additional $1,687,784.55 was given to organizations in Palo Alto County. Fifteen full grants were awarded and 26 mini-grants were given this year as well as grants to each of the cities of Palo Alto County.
This year was a sad year for the Gaming Board. The final two original members of the board retired on Friday night. Larry (Skip) Wallace and Bill Lapczenski were honored after 13 years on the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation Board.
Lapczenski and Wallace started on the board before the Casino was even licensed in 2005. Towards the end of the evening, the new PACGDC president, Brian Bormann, presented Wallace and Lapczenski with plaques thanking them for their years of service.
“There were six of us,” Wallace began. He then asked Rose Reit to stand up. “She was one of the originals. I remember the line that she said after Iowa Racing and Gaming, ‘turn the busses around.’ We did. Also like to recognize, as you knew, at the time, Julie Clarkson- she’s a native here- Julie Kliegl. Her and Rose gave a tremendous presentation down there and they got the license. And we had Norlyn [Stowell]. Bill and I, we’re the last. I think we started in 2004 before we even had the license. We had the license in ’05. Started in 2006.”
The original board members were responsible for bringing the Casino to the town of Emmetsburg. Without their efforts, PAGCDC would not exists.
“So the only thing I would like to say is, when we started this, we took a trip and remember Mary Ellen Chamberlain, she said ‘it’s easy to give money away, it’s hard to do it responsibly. If we are knit-picky, we are trying to do it responsibly,” Wallace concluded.
“I’d just like to thank everybody that writes the grants. They’re the winners,” Lapczenski said. “Palo Alto County is the winner in the whole trip that we’ve taken over the last 14 years. It’s been a great ride, and congratulations to all the recipients.
The largest grant awarded on Friday night was $72,525.00 which went to The Friendly Ducks of Mallard for a splash pad.
The Palo Alto Conservation Board was awarded $51,684.00 for the Lost Island Huston Park Restroom and Sewer Site in Ruthven.
The Emmetsburg Fire Department received $50,983.00 for Self-contained Breathing Apparatuses.
Lost Island Sanitary Sewer District was awarded $36,320.00 for an Emergency Alarm System upgrade.
The Five Island Trail Corporation received $35,475.00 for Five Island Trail E. Side Phase Three.
For a complete list of awards, please read our special section that will be published on Thursday, March 8’s edition of The Democrat.