The Milbank Area Retired Teachers-Personnel Association was awarded a $14,000 AARP Community Challenge grant. The grant is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas with quick-action grants to help them become great places to live for people of all ages, especially those 50 and over.
Rhonda Preller, president of MARTA, who wrote the grant for Milbank, said, “There were 3,200 requests throughout the United States and only 260 awarded.”
Preller said, “Besides the $14,000 from the AARP Community Challenge grant, MARTA will be donating an additional $2,000 from the Healthy Hometown grant that was received last fall.” She noted the group had also donated a mini grant of $650 earlier this summer for a bike rack, which brought MARTA’s total contribution to $16,650.
Preller said she will be working closely with John Forman, City Administrator, and Milbank Parks and Recreation Manager Dan Keyes to determine how the rest of the funds will be distributed. Anticipated projects, however, include: additional water fountains in parks, benches at the west entrance of Flynn Nature Trail, playground equipment at Farley Park near the beach, bike racks for several parks, and assistance with the signage planned for the new Splash Pad and the American Legion Baseball field.
True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
Submitted Photo: Standing- (left to right) Nancy Bloem, Mary Lou Bullert, Ruth Ann Settje, Mary Rethke, Shirley Schmidt and Carm Tobin.
Seated-Donna Larson, Rhonda Preller and Vangie Heupel