Greater Regional Health Board of Trustees approved a request by CEO Monte Neitzel on behalf of the GRH executive committee that would allocate funds to be invested in three projects in the Creston community during Monday’s regular meeting.
Neitzel said the projects considered by the committee were chosen because they emphasize the health, wellness, well being, safety and economic development of the community. He pointed out that obesity in Creston and Union County are trending up and that Union County has more obese individuals than most other Iowa counties, so focusing on the well being of the community was a priority for the committee.
The McKinley Park trail was the first of the projects Neitzel presented, which, when complete, would go all the way around McKinley Lake and connect to the existing walking trails along the east side of McKinley Park and north to Green Valley State Park.
“We’re excited about being able to offer that,” said Neitzel.
Neitzel asked to board to also consider investing in the adaptive playground Creston Community Schools superintendent Steve McDermott has proposed for the elementary/middle schools.
“They plan to build the playground on the west side of the school and include a “miracle field,” which is a large ball field that has a poured surface that will be able to accommodate all children regardless of their physical abilities,” said Neitzel. “I couldn’t think of a better project to be part of than that.”
Finally, Neitzel proposed investing in the McKinley Park Aquatics Center, however the investment would be done on the condition that the city of Creston invest a considerable sum to the project as well.
“We feel that would give them skin in the game for the overall betterment of Creston and Union County,” said Neitzel.
Greater Regional Health will commit a total of $86,666.67 over the first three years, and then an additional $20,000 for the next two years.
“McKinley Park and the adaptive playground is $66,666.67 per year,” said Neitzel, explaining how the funds would break down for each project. “The aquatic center is $20,000 per year. The McKinley Park trail and the adaptive playground is paid out over three years. The aquatic center would be paid out over five years.”