Ten projects undertaken by organizations serving communities in and around Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s service area have been selected to receive a funding boost through Heartland’s Concern for Community grant program.
“I often say that we’re not in the business of selling electricity, we’re in the business of powering rural lifestyles,” said Mark Scheibe, Heartland CEO. “Part of that is supporting the communities our consumer-members live in and around. This grant program is a great way to do just that.”
The Concern for Community program provides grants of up to $5,000 for capital improvement projects throughout the Heartland service area, which covers parts of 12 counties in eastern Kansas. Capital improvement projects are those that involve investment in structures or equipment that will last for many years.
As a non-profit, member-owned cooperative, Heartland issues capital credits to members each year, but sometimes those capital credits go unclaimed. Because those monies were intended to be returned to the communities from which they came, Heartland's Board of Directors decided to use those unclaimed funds for community grants and started the Concern for Community program in 2019.
This year, 10 applications out of 26 received were approved for funding by the Heartland board. Heartland distributed a total of $37,000 in Concern for Community grants this year.
Projects selected for funding are as follows:
- Mound City Historical Society, Inc. was awarded $5,000 for roof repairs on historical buildings.
- Linn County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new animal pens at the fairgrounds in Mound City.
- Jayhawk USD 346 was awarded $2,500 for new curtains for the auditorium.
- Fairview Chapel outside Moran was awarded $2,500 for new bathrooms.
- Moran-Marmaton/Osage Fire Department was awarded $2,500 for new hoses and nozzles.
- Woodson County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for renovations to the swine barn at the fairgrounds in Yates Center.
- Cato Historical Preservation Association, Inc. was awarded $2,500 for painting at the Cato Christian Church between Fort Scott and Pittsburg.
- Hammond Community Center in rural Fort Scott was awarded $2,000 for roof and HVAC repairs.
- Crawford County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new lights and wiring at the fairgrounds outside Girard.
- Crawford County Fire District # 4 was awarded $5,000 to help purchase a virtual fire extinguisher training system to be shared with area fire departments and businesses.
Applications were accepted in the month of September and selected by the Heartland Board of Directors in October. Heartland plans to reopen applications in summer 2023 for the next round of funding.
About Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. powers rural lifestyles throughout more than 11,000 locations in eastern Kansas. Heartland’s service area includes consumer-members in 12 counties, including Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.
Heartland REC traces its roots back to three original rural electric cooperatives: Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company, Sugar Valley Electric Cooperative Association, and Sekan Electric Cooperative Association. Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company joined with Sugar Valley in 1975 to form United Electric Cooperative; United Electric Cooperative joined with Sekan Electric Cooperative Association in 1996 to form Heartland.