H/M grants approved by City Council

Nearly $60,000 in Hotel/Motel Tax revenue were awarded to five local groups Monday night during the City Council meeting.

Pat Westcott, chairman of the Hotel/Motel Tax Board, said the group was recommending grants totaling $59,880.24. The awards were recommended as follow:

Border Brigade Archery Club, $3,561 for equipment;

The City of Webster City, $10,000 for Riverside Canoe Access and prairie restoration; grant monies for the project would be used to create a permanent concrete access point for canoes on the river. Some of the grant will go toward restoring the prairie.

Webster City Chamber of Commerce. $23,099.24 for economic growth and development; the plan includes advertisements through local media, state travel media, and social media.

Doodlebug Club of America, $1,100 for the group’s annual convention held in Webster City;

Hamilton County Conservation, $22,120 for marketing for the Legacy Learning Center.

Westcott said the approximate balance of the grant fund as of June was $111,730. Less this round of grants, 51,850. Since its beginning, the board has granted $383,916. Revenues to date total $480,647.

Councilman Doug Getter said this year’s applications were “much improved” over previous years. This year, the Hotel/Motel Tax board held a grant writing workshop prior to the application deadline. Westcott said the workshop seemed to help the applicants.

“We tried to teach everyone how to write their grants and what we were looking for in the applications,” she said.

Councilwoman Linda Conaway reminded the public that the revenue for the grants comes from taxes charged to those who stay in Webster City motels.

Senior Center update

Sharon Kruse, representing the senior and community center, gave an update on the facility and its activities. The group was charged with trying to raise funds to help offset the costs of operating the center, located at 749 Second St.

Kruse said the center is home to Webster City Congregate Meals, a variety of card playing groups, penny bingo players and the RSVP office. She said a series of fund raisers are planned for the coming months.

“We hope to have some activity every quarter,” she said, outlining a hot beef sandwich dinner planned for Sept. 29 and a night of dancing with the Al Welch Orchestra on Nov. 2.

“We appreciate the efforts to get these activities rolling,” said Councilman Geary Meyer.

The council also approved a request from the Webster City Chamber of Commerce to close Second Street from Willson Avenue to Des Moines Street and Des Moines Street from Second to First Street for the Summer Nights celebration planned for Friday and Aug. 9.

The streets will close at 5 p.m. both days and will open again at midnight.

The purchase of two -ton pickup trucks – one for the wastewater treatment plant and the other for the water department – were approved at a cost of $19,596.92 each, using the state bid. Both

trucks were budgeted items.