At the March 13th board meeting of the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), the grant committee reviewed and approved a discretionary grant request for up to $75,000 to help The City of Osceola cover the fees associated to keeping the City’s public recreational resources “Water Neutral.” The grant was discussed amongst the full board and processed through the grant committee for the use in future water transportation and replacement of raw water in West Lake in exchange for water used for the public pool and golf course.

“The volume of water available in areas throughout the city can conceivably replenish the water needed to keep these facilities open,” said Wheeler. “This grant would cover the potential costs to transport or pump what is used back to West Lake, making the pool and the golf course ‘Water Neutral’.”

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The areas Wheeler referred to in his request included Grade Lake, and Q-Pond. Additional options with the privately owned quarry on the north side of the Osceola water treatment plant are also in review. By contracting with tanker-trucks and possibly running pumps from either Q-Pond and/or the quarry, the water necessary for the municipal recreation areas could be fully replaced, assuring that the City maintains the water levels in West Lake while guaranteeing the use of the facilities throughout the coming summer months.

While more testing is required for the quarry and other potential sources, the City’s goal to maintain water-neutrality was well received by the CCDC board. The urgency of the request was also discussed.

“We need to make sure the cost of transportation is weighed against the options to pump,” said board member, Shawn Wade, owner of Wade Oil. “An investment like this needs to be strategic and fiscally responsible.”

After additional discussion surrounding how the grant would possibly be used, grant committee member, Brian Evans, CEO of Clarke County Hospital, made a motion to approve the request with the stipulation that the discretionary grant would cover “Up to” the $75,000 initially requested and be distributed when final costs of hauling versus pumping from various resources were clearly defined.

“I’m glad the City was able to secure the funding necessary to make this happen,” said Wheeler. “Whether we end up pulling from local lakes or using the quarry, our focus has always been to maintain our water resources for the community.”

Final details of where water will be pulled from to replenish what is used or the pool and golf course are contingent on testing and evaluations from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Those tests are under way and as recently as Thursday the 14th had been in the hands of the IDNR.

While Grade Lake and Q-Pond have the volume necessary for the water exchange, conversations with the quarry and owners of that resource continue and could possibly be a quicker, more efficient transfer of resources considering its proximity to West Lake.

If you have questions about the recent municipal water needs or activities with the pool and/or the golf course, please reach out to Osceola City Hall at 115 N Fillmore St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-2377, or contact City Administrator, Ty Wheeler at [email protected].

Additional questions concerning Osceola’s water supply and the current water conservations ordinance in affect for Osceola water customer, please contact the Osceola Water Works team at 208 W Jefferson St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-1435, or contact Water Superintendent, Brandon Patterson at [email protected].

For more information on CCDC discretionary grant or other opportunities though the Development Corporation, please contact Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director, at 115 E Washington Street, P.O. Box 426, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-2944, email: [email protected].

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