By Beth Bily
At last week’s regular meeting, counselors for the city of LaPrairie indicated they’d like more information from the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation regarding setting up their own endowment.
The GRACF, which has a service area including all of Itasca County, recently reached out to a number of local cities through a letter. In that letter, Chris Fulton, executive director of the GRACF said a local fund could “promote philanthropic giving by community members and others interested in the future of LaPrairie.”
Setting up a fund, “would provide an easy means for a caring citizen to provide a gift – either now or in the future – to a permanent endowment established at and managed by the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. On an annual basis, a local advisory committee from LaPrairie would receive the distribution from the invested endowment funds to use for local area needs.”
The model has been utilized with success elsewhere in Itasca County. The GRACF letter noted that the Nashwauk Area Endowment has grown to $500,000 since it launched in 2000. This year, the fund will distribute $20,000 to local causes and has provided a total of $75,000 in funds so far in its history.
Counselors agreed that the concept deserved further exploration and will arrange a later meeting to hear further details from GRACF executives.
It sounds like a good thing,” said Mayor Mike Fall. “But, it would be nice to know if there’s a cost.”
Counselor Margie Ritter said she’d been involved with other organizations that had money in trust through a foundation and there was a minimal cost, but “it’s not much.”
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minutes of the April 21 regular council meeting and Local Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting on April 29.
• Approved the claims and treasurer’s report for April 1 through 15.
• Noted that a local cities collaboration meeting took place on April 22. At the April meeting local officials addressed the issue of pavement crack filling. The next meeting is scheduled for May 29 and will focus on human resources management.
• Noted that after some prior commitments are fulfilled, the city will no longer provide chairs for local functions.
• Noted that burning restrictions are now in place.
• Approved a policy that will guide the procedures and priorities “to meet the minimum sign reflectivity requirements in the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
• Approved continuing the summer youth program at four days a week and eight weeks in duration.
• Approved membership in and bylaws for the Arrowhead Procare Pool.
• Approved an exempt gambling application for the National Wild Turkey Federation, North Country Spurs Chapter.
• Approved the purchase and installation of new playground equipment at a total cost $15,075.97. All the new equipment will be handicapped accessible.
• Passed a motion authorizing the city’s engineer to draw specifications for a sidewalk, which will make the city’s playground handicapped accessible.
• Approved a $50 donation to the GNK Titans football cheerleading squad.
• Approved the resignation of Lucas Thompson from the cable commission and planning and zoning committee. Thompson resigned because he no longer lives within the city limits.
• Appointed Counselor Lynn O’Brien to serve on the Get Fit Itasca committee.