Teacher seeks grant for Ridge student group

By Mike Ferguson
News Chief

Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 10:34 p.m.

Last Modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 10:34 p.m.

DAVENPORT — A Ridge Community High School teacher urged the City Commission to approve a $1,000 grant for a student service organization.

The grant application and the Polk County Water Cooperative were among the topics discussed by commissioners Monday night. The commission is expected to vote on both issues at its March 28 meeting.

For this fiscal year, the city budgeted $2,500 for a community grant to assists organizations in holding events in the area. An organization applying for a grant has a list of criteria it has to meet, including hosting an event for the betterment of the city.

The maximum grant for an organization is $1,000. So far, the only application is from Ridge Community High School’s Sigma Alpha Sigma chapter for its Summer Leadership Institute.

“We teach the students leadership skills as they would need for any job,” said Ridge Community High teacher Amanda McCallister. “The success of our organization is we treat our students like colleagues and not children. They are required to attend the training to be considered for leadership within our organization.”

The organization is requesting the maximum $1,000. The city has $1,500 remaining for grant applications and has started accepting requests for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Last year, Ridge Community High students put in more than 10,000 volunteer hours in the city.

“I’m always impressed with these students and the way they conduct themselves,” McCallister said. “I can’t say enough great things; it’s been a wonderful relationship between the students of Ridge Community High School and the city.”

The commission also discussed joining the Polk Regional Water Cooperative.

“It’s an opportunity for us to not only have the availability of long-term water but it allows us to have a voice at the table,” said Commissioner Tom Fellows, who serves as Davenport’s representative with the cooperative. “Water is going to be an extremely important issue.”

The city currently accounts for a little more than 1 percent of Polk County’s total water usage, but according to City Manager Amy Arrington, the city is projected to use about 1.16 million gallons per day in 20 years based on current growth.

“Forming a partnership with the county and other cities is probably the best, most affordable option out there,” Arrington said. “It gives us a security we’ll always have water for our citizens and won’t have to hold back on potential growth.”

— Mike Ferguson can be reached at Mike.Ferguson@theledger.comor863-401-6981. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.