H/M Tax Board hears how former grant recipients use monies

The Webster City Hotel Motel Tax board observed presentations from local groups who received grant monies during the 19th round of applications. Six local organizations explained the board how the monies were used and the benefits the grant provided in bringing people to Webster City.

ACE Community Center Immigration and Education Director Janet Toering spoke about how ACE used grant monies to buy new signs for the community center. This included an electronic sign as well as additional signs for the exterior of the building. In celebration of new signage and logo change, ACE held a grand opening in March.

“We’re very thankful for Webster City Hotel Motel Tax granting us $18,600 for an electronic message board and signage, just in time to reveal our new ACE logo,” Toering said. “This has made the east entrance into Webster City so much better.”

ACE Community currently serves cultures from over 30 countries. With the signs ACE has been able to promote their vast selection of programs and classes to draw a diverse crowd to the Webster City area.

“ACE is uniquely ready to move Hamilton County into the future with the growth of our multi cultural community,” said Toering.

Janet Adams, representing Arts R Alive in Webster City, brought the board up to speed on the August sculpture event. The event, held on Aug. 2 and 3 at West Twin Park, brought over 300 visitors to the park.

“Thank you for the opportunity to receive this grant,” Adams said. “This public art is a niche that stands out in Central Iowa.”

Part of the funds received were used to purchase and OtoCast app, which gave attendees at the park a chance to get to know the pieces through the eyes of each artist. The app was popular at the event.

Deb Brown spoke on behalf of Legacy Learning Boone River Valley. Brown discussed the impact of Cord McMahon, former Artist in Residence downtown, and an influx in workshop participation.

McMahon spent five months utilizing the downtown ArtSpace, which is located next to Home and Appliance Repair on Second Street. McMahon led a successful three-day youth art workshop that a large number of kids attended.

A portion of funds were used to market LLBRV classes through booklets, table tents, an update website and advertising in a series of publications across the state.

“Thank you for contributing,” Brown said.

Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Christianson spoke about the success of JunqueFest over Memorial Day weekend. The Chamber and the Iowa Antique Network worked together to bring this event downtown for the first time.

“The Webster City Chamber would like to thank everyone on the board for funding our fourth annual JunqueFest,” Christianson said.

An estimated 5,000 people attended JunqeFest. Six states and 84 communities were represented, even an individual all the way from Australia. The street dance was attended by over 400 people. According to Christianson, the 2018 JunqueFest event will be held May 25-27.

With the help of Hotel/Motel Tax monies, the Webster City Lions Club completed the first phase of Lions Park. According to Webster City Lions Club member Jade Williams, a ribbon cutting was held on Oct. 13 to celebrate the completion of the playground portion of the park.

The playground is unique in that it is an all-inclusive park. Kids of all abilities can now enjoy the new equipment without fear of injury or being left out. An app was also donated to the club for use at the park. This interactive app can be downloaded on smart phones. The app provides extra games and challenges to utilize as much of the equipment on the grounds as possible. Lions Club Park is only the second park in the nation to have this app. The park is now ADA-compliant.

The Lions Club hopes to complete two more phases of the park in the future. The second phase is to resurface the basketball court. The third phase of park completion is to rebuild the existing shelter. A possible plan of action to redo the shelter, according to Williams, is to enlist the help of the Webster City High School industrial classes.

“We really appreciate your contribution,” Williams said. “The grant definitely helped us out. That provided 47 percent of the funds needed to complete the first phase.”

Kent Harfst, Webster City Recreation and Public Grounds Director, and Darlene Dingman noted events at WBP that happened thanks to H/M Tax monies including: Train Day, four history programs and three weddings at Mulberry Center Church, the 31st Annual Doodlebug Reunion coffee, Bark in the Park and Veterans Day open house at the depot.

“We really want to thank you for all your support over the years for allowing us to be open down at the six museums,” said Dingman.