The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation met Tuesday evening, May 14 at the foundation’s office in Rock Rapids.
Board members discussed the AgBowl (better known as the Beef Bowl in Lyon County) between West Lyon and Central Lyon/George-Little Rock in August at the beginning of the school year. The event is to be broadcast this year via Iowa High School Sports Network, and the foundation was approached by West Lyon Athletic Director, Jeff Hoogeveen, about purchasing advertising. A 30-second ad costs $750, but that money is then donated to the school of the advertiser’s choice.
Concerns arose that advertising the foundation could create problems because the event will be aired in several states and might cause a flood of grant applications from areas outside Lyon County.
Some board members questioned the need to advertise since the foundation already gives the schools a considerable amount on a quarterly basis.
The consensus was that the matter should be tabled until more information can be obtained.
While foundation board members hope not and consider it unlikely Grand Falls Casino Resort would stop operating, they have received queries concerning what happens to funding of multi-year grants should the unlikely occur.
When presenting the grant awards, recipients are made aware that the foundation board is “pledging” a certain amount of funding over a period of years, but is not guaranteeing those funds will be paid.
In an effort to give the public some indication of how the present foundation board would determine the way grant funding would be handled, they spoke of a “good faith statement of intent” in the unlikely event Grand Falls Casino Resort should cease operation. If operations ceased for a short period of time (possibly six months or less), the foundation would stop grant giving and pay multi-year grants first. Should operations cease for an extended period of time, the foundation would pay a set percentage of their outstanding community grants based on available funds.
The foundation board did not take any action on the the issues discussed, and future foundation boards may determine to handle the issue of multi-year grant distributions differently.
Three requests were received for extensions of work completion on grants issued in the spring of 2012.
The Larchwood Betterment Club and Larchwood Baseball Club have been unable to complete construction of the new concession stand/restroom facility at the baseball complex due to inclement weather and requested an extension to June 1.
The City of Rock Rapids, on behalf of the fire department, requested a one-month extension as they are awaiting information on the price of equipment they plan to purchase.
The City of Larchwood requested an extension to complete its City Park Splashpark into June 2013 which has been hampered by inclement weather.
Board members approved a one-year extension for all three requests.
The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation was established in 2008 with board members representing each of the eight communities and each of the five supervisor districts in Lyon County. The group was established to apply for a gaming license from the Iowa Gaming Commission, allowing the construction of Grand Falls Casino Resort in the county. The foundation would also distribute a percentage of the revenues from the casino once it was operating.
Some of the foundation’s original board members have been replaced, while others have chosen to remain on the board. Board member terms are for three years. When their term is completed, members may choose to remain on the board for another term. Otherwise, they, with help from other board members if needed, seek someone to replace them.
Present board members include Jeff Gallagher, Larchwood; Gerry Stai, Inwood; Kristi Landis, George; Margo Pedersen, Rock Rapids; Dave Ackerman, Rock Rapids; Darla Bruggeman, Inwood; John Folkens, Lester; Julie Miller, Lester; Gene Schroeder, Doon; Joanne Smith, Alvord; Merlin Ver Steeg, Little Rock; Russ Hopp, George; Bill Henrichs, Little Rock; David Childress, executive assistant, and Harold Dawson, legal counsel.
Four of those members’ terms expired this year, Julie Miller, Russ Hopp, Margo Pedersen and Bill Henrichs. All four were nominated to another three-year term, accepted their being nominated, and were approved by a voice vote.
A motion was then made to keep the same foundation board officers, which was also approved by a voice vote. Officers for 2013 are Gallagher, president; Stai, vice-president; go Pedersen, secretary, and Smith, treasurer.