GARNER, IA – A local effort to meet child care needs has received $5,000 through a Power of Connection grant administered jointly by ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC).
With a population of more than 3,000, local leaders are seeking to expand the non-profit Garner Community Christian Child Care Center (GC4) by building a new facility to serve the needs of young families in the community, encourage growth and strengthen community vitality.
The GC4 Board of Directors – with support from the community – has embarked on a feasibility study to evaluate needs and determine the best path forward to expand the organization’s programming by constructing a new building. The vision is to triple the size of the current facility to accommodate 92 children – a substantial increase from the current licensed capacity of 33 children. The goal is to construct the new facility and have it open to serve children and their families by the fall of 2024.
The grant program, launched in 2019, is intended to help fund feasibility studies, strategic planning and non-construction/equipment elements of a rural project. For the Garner project, the funds will be used to analyze community needs and support the professional development of a financial and business plan to move the project forward. The Power of Connection Grant has been matched by the City of Garner to support the feasibility study and creation of the business plan.
“We are grateful for the collaboration and support for our child care project as we strive to meet the community’s needs,” said Reid Weiland, Board Chair of Garner Community Christian Child Care. “Our new, expanded child care facility is going to be a great addition to Garner by serving a need in our community and surrounding towns. We want to thank ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council for the opportunity to apply and for awarding us the grant, which is a key to us moving forward.”
“The lack of affordable, quality child care is constraining economic development throughout rural areas of the state and the region,” noted ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “By working together, communities can overcome this challenge. Through the Power of Connection program in collaboration with the Iowa Rural Development Council, ITC Midwest is pleased to support the child care initiative being undertaken in Garner to improve the overall quality of life and spur future growth in the community.”
Communities eligible for the Power of Connection program must have populations of under 10,000 and be outside of a metropolitan area. Power of Connection grant dollars cannot be used for construction, real estate or equipment.
For more information about program details, contact IRDC Executive Director Bill Menner at DIRECTOR@IOWARDC.ORG or call 641-990-4757.
About ITC Midwest
ITC Midwest LLC is a subsidiary of ITC HOLDINGS CORP., the largest independent electricity transmission company in the U.S. ITC Midwest operates more than 6,600 circuit miles of transmission lines in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri, and holds utility status in Wisconsin. ITC Midwest is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and maintains regional operating facilities in Dubuque, Iowa City and Perry, Iowa; and Albert Lea and Lakefield, Minnesota. For further information visit WWW.ITC-HOLDINGS.COM. ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit WWW.FORTISINC.COM.
About the Iowa Rural Development Council
The IOWA RURAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL is a non-profit public-private partnership featuring members ranging from federal agencies to utilities, universities and community colleges and for-profit entities. The Council is a federal Farm Bill-authorized organization that seeks to empower rural communities and bring together partners to advance the interests of rural Iowa.
Bill Menner, Executive Director, Iowa Rural Development Council
DIRECTOR@IOWARDC.ORG or 641-990-4757
Rod Pritchard, Manager of Marketing and Communications, ITC Midwest
RPRITCHARD@ITCTRANSCO.COM or 319-350-9255