Jenna Ray, Development Associate for West Central Initiative Fund, spoke to the Elbow Lake City Council last Tuesday, giving them an annual update and talking fundraising. The city has started a fundraising campaign to build a splash pad at Veterans Park. Estimates for a splash pad are as high as $300,000, but the city got a good start with a recent donation of $50,000 from an anonymous donor.
Ray said WCIF brought over $27,000 in grants to Elbow Lake last year, and $1.7 million in grants since 1986, plus $1.7 million in loans. WCIF administers component and donor-advised funds for the Elbow Lake Community Fund, Herman Community Growth Fund, Thorson Memorial Library Foundation, and West Central Area Education Foundation with $663,044 in assets. They have assisted in the Regional Revolving Loan Fund, EDA Flood Relief in Elbow Lake, Early Childhood Initiative, Safe Routes to School, COVID-19 Resiliency Fund Grants, and Distribution of Small Business Relief Grants.
The WCIF is currently looking for board members from Grant County who would be willing to meet once a month for an hour or so, plus serve on subcommittees.
“We are looking for someone interested in making their community stronger,” she said. If anyone is interested, call the WCIF at 218-998-1618.
Ray said the WCIF is willing to offer Fundraising 101 to anyone who would benefit from it.
“We are taught that talking about money is wrong,” she told the council. “But giving isn’t about money, giving is about service.”
She said Fundraising 101,which will be held September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanford Room, will talk about finding people who may donate and how to approach them. Anyone interested should contact City Clerk Jeff Holsen at 218-685-4483.
Officer and Committee Reports
Elbow Lake Fire Chief Nathan Porter reported the department responded to four medical calls and a home fire.
Sue Kulbeik, Elbow Lake Chamber of Commerce Director, reported that Flekkefest went well and the C&C sold a lot of water bottles and other Elbow Lake souvenirs. She reported the Elbow Lake Farmers Market was hurt by bad weather the last couple of weeks and is done for the season. The dinners served at the Farmers Market were well received.
Lucy Anderson, Thorson Memorial Library Director, reported that library circulation continued to go up every month. Book club will be reading Sorrowland this month, and Childrens Programming is Fridays at 9:30 a.m. when school is in session.
City Superintendent Greg Jacobson said the people of Elbow Lake are responding to requests to limit water use.
“We went from 106,000 gallons a day down to 96,000 so I commend the people of Elbow Lake. But don’t let your guard down,” he said.
Council member Julie Larson reported the recent wind storm took its toll on trees in Elbow Lake, including a nice shade tree in Kube Park that sheltered the new picnic shelter. The shelter was not damaged.
The council agreed to install a new master lift station to replace a 40 year old one, located in the Industrial Park. Jacobson said this is the most important part of their system in the pump that is responsible for pumping sewage out to the city containment ponds.
Cost of the replacement is around $100,000 to $110,000 but the city has funds in its sewer and water fund.
“We would like to get it done by November,” said Jacobson.
The council also agreed to purchase a used 2002 Sterling one-way snow plow from Boyer Truck for $39,000 with tax.
Because of the continuing high transmission rate of COVID-19, the council has agreed to keep meeting in the Sanford Room of the Community Building. Their regular city council meeting room is too small for proper social distancing and does not have good air circulation.