Rockford supports RACE grant effort

The Rockford City Council meeting Sept. 25 kicked off with presentations from representatives of organizations “Yes for the Future” and “RACE”  (Rockford Area Collaborative Effort).

Representatives Michelle Byers and Chad Robran presented information to the council regarding the upcoming Nov. 6 general election and the question posed Rockford Area Schools, District 883, residents in regard to future school funding. They directed the council to consider the information they were presenting, go to the district’s web site for additional detail, and to lend support through appropriate channels. This was not an action item.

In regard to RACE, both Beyers and Robran outlined the grant the group is applying for, Hennepin Youth Sports Program Facility Application 2013, and how the city’s partnering would benefit the effort. RACE consists of representatives from the Rockford School District, the cities of Rockford, Corcoran and Greenfield, and associated athletic support organizations that work toward securing grant dollars to build, or improve, area fields and athletic or recreational related sights.

Last fall, the collaborative came very close to obtaining a grant from Hennepin Youth Sports for over $200,000 that focused on constructing a new ball field in Greenfield, as well improving tennis courts in Corcoran and the athletic-ball pinwheel located on district 883 grounds. RACE is reapplying for the grant this year, which relies heavily on the combined support of affected communities and organizations.

Both indicated that this last is what helped the RACE application score so highly in 2011, and could contribute to its success going forward. Some elements of the application have shifted, most notably the site of a new ball field, which is now slated for Corcoran.

A smaller grant, for $30,000, was obtained by the group and is being used to begin work on improvements to the district’s pinwheel site.

After some discussion, the council agreed to support the RACE collaborative, allocating $2,500 toward the grant effort from the city’s 2013 budget.

In other city news, Wright County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Fournier reported to the council that things had quieted down since school has started. Councilors Renee Hafften and Rick Martinson asked about fire in a portable restroom that was started just prior to the start of school. The department was not able to locate the offenders and, at this time, has no leads. Dennis Peterson, the city’s Public Works Supervisor, Dennis Peterson, said that the cost of the damage was approximately $4,000. It was reiterated by council that the city has a reward policy regarding information concerning vandalism to property.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.