Archived Story

WCDA awards $2.8 million

Published 10:03am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NORTHWOOD, Iowa — The Worth County Development Authority on Sunday awarded more than $2.8 million in grants during its semi-annual banquet at Diamond Jo Casino.

More than $1.8 million was awarded in education grants and about $860,000 was given out in Worth County and other regional grants. Worth County received $138,000.

This brings the total given out by the WCDA — the nonprofit co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino — to more than $22 million since its inception in 2006.

“It’s just really neat to watch it unfold and watch how the area is affected,” said WCDA director Kim Koenings. “It was a bunch of people who had a dream, and look at the good that’s come out of it.”

Each year, the nonprofit receives 5.76 percent of the casino’s annual gross revenue.

Off the top of that amount, 7 percent the nonprofit’s funds goes to Worth County. Then 47.5 percent goes to education and 47.5 percent goes toward other projects.

Grants are given out twice a year, and educational awards out given out annually.

School districts that receive funds are Northwood-Kensett, Central Springs, Lake Mills, Forest City and St. Ansgar.

This grant round there were 22 grants awarded in Worth County and 19 grants awarded around the region.

The Northwood Library received about $3,800 for computers, the Northwood Lions received almost $9,900 for digital camera screening.

On a larger scale, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office received about $75,000 for its narrowbanding project, and the Kensett Fire Department was awarded about $213,000 for a new fire station.

Outside of Worth County, the Wells Area Food Shelf was awarded almost $1,000 for a refrigerator and freezer.

The city of Wells received almost $1,000 for a digital display, the Lake Mills Public Library received almost $4,000 for a water softener and sink and the Albert Lea Family Y received almost $6,500 to go toward an entryway and pool access.

The Freeborn County Agricultural Society received almost $7,000 to go toward the Conservation Building.

Koenings encouraged people to apply for their organizations.

For the first grant round each year, applications are available Jan. 1 and are due Feb. 15, with awards given out April 15.

For the second round, applications are available Aug. 1 and are due Sept. 15, with awards given out Nov. 15.

The WCDA website states no grant applications will be accepted for the upcoming Nov. 15 allocation as all funds from that period have been set aside to help Worth County build the sewer and water treatment infrastructure for future development.

Information about the WCDA can be found at