Odell Wind Farm Community Fund awards first round of grant recipients

Thirteen grants across four counties are funded



The Odell Wind Farm Community Fund has awarded its first round of grant recipients.

Twenty-six applications were received with requests totaling nearly $135,000. The Community Fund’s board members decided to fund 13 grants across four counties with the $39,000 that was available.

The Odell Wind Farm, a 200-megawatt (MW) wind energy facility, pays approximately $40,000 per year into a Community Fund to benefit the small towns within its footprint.

The Odell Wind Farm Community Fund (an affiliate of the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation) is one-of-a-kind; the money directly benefiting the local people and communities connected to the geographic scope of the Odell Wind Farm in the counties of Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin and a portion of Watonwan, Minnesota. It may be spent on anything from school projects, school or community playgrounds, community pools, ball fields, basketball courts, roads – or whatever the choice. The Community Fund is managed by a local board comprised of representatives of various townships and landowners.

The 2017 recipients included:

  • City of Mountain Lake Parks Department for necessary upgrades on the Mountain Lake City Park band shell.
  • Mountain Lake Elementary Student Council for Chromebooks so that more students have access to newer technology.
  • Martin County 4-H towards their performing arts lessons and skills development
  • Cottonwood County 4-H for a LEGO Robotics and LEGO Build engineering design program.
  • Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for downtown Christmas lights and decorations
  • Mountain Lake Soccer for a community storage shed which will serve various organizations.
  • Jackson County Library System for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) products.
  • Mountain Lake Fire Department for replacing turn-out gear.
  • Darfur Fire Department to update SCBA tanks.
  • Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for “Christmas at the Village” community Christmas celebration.
  • Mountain Lake Ambulance Service for the purchase of hand radios.
  • Windom Area Hospital towards outdoor gym equipment along their new walking path.
  • Mountain Lake Ag/FFA Chromebooks for technology integration.

The Odell Wind Farm Community Fund notes that learned during this first grant review that projects are favored where there is significant support from the community – whether that be financial resources, extensive use of volunteers or impact on many community members.

The next round of grants will be in January 2018, with the deadline of Monday, January 15 for applications.

To learn more about Odell Wind Farm, go to: https://www.cross-countiesconnect.com/2016/03/where-the-wind-blows/.

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