Mercer County funds 11 community projects through $250k grant initiative

MERCER COUNTY, Illinois — Residents several Mercer County towns are about to benefit from more than $250,000 in community development projects.

The Looser-Flake Charitable Foundation awarded $150,000 to improve parks and recreation facilities in the county, according to a joint statement from Mercer County Better Together and the Quad Cities Community Foundation. This money attracted more than $108,000 in matching funds raised by the eleven groups who applied for the grant.

Kyle McEwen, with Mercer County Better Together, said the sum of money was a collaborative effort between the foundation and the eleven groups.

“The foundation, they were looking to help us finish projects,” McEwen said. “They want to leverage existing funds to get things done.”

McEwen said the supplemental $108,000 came from two places. Nearly $102,000 was presented as a matching fund, and $6,337 was added in labor and equipment.

He also told News 8 that some of the groups were willing to give up part of their project funds to aid other projects that needed more. He said this level of collaboration was surprising.

“You just don’t see that.. those [groups] are the stars of this process.”

Here’s a list of projects that will result from the money.

● The City of Aledo will construct a new varsity baseball diamond at Northside Park.
● The City of Keithsburg will pour seven new concrete pads at Riverside Campground.
● The Eliza Township will build a permanent restroom facility at their ball diamond.
● The Mercer County Agricultural Society will repair the roof of the Merchant Building at the
Mercer County Fairgrounds.
● The Mercer County YMCA will complete renderings for a building expansion study.
● The Village of Joy will improve the playground in Joy Park.
● The Village of Matherville will pave a boat ramp and install a dock for kayak use at Lake
Matherville.
● The Village of New Windsor will upgrade the basketball courts in town.
● The Village of North Henderson will install wheelchair-accessible park equipment.
● The Village of Seaton will improve lighting in Seaton Park.
● The Village of Viola will install new playground equipment at Miles Memorial Park.

McEwen said that, of the 11 participants, there were two non-profits, one township, and the others were all towns.

The Looser-Flake Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to encourage and the community in Mercer County.

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