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$3.2 Million Awarded for new Elder Center from Neighborhood Investment Fund

By Joe Morey

News Editor

Elders of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe met on Saturday, March 12, at the Kinnamon Museum to discuss a grant awarded to LCO for construction of a new Elder Nutrition Center in the community of Reserve, which will replace the existing facility.

LCO was awarded $3,134,320 from the Neighborhood Investment Fund Program to help serve ‘vulnerabe populations’ at Lac Courte Oreilles, which the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) is designating to the new facility.

The TGB had originally set aside $1.5 million toward the new Elder Center idea last year when the tribe was awarded American Rescue Plan Act funds, but now will be able to reallocate those funds after receiving this new grant.

Faith Smith of the LCO Elders Advisory Council, told the elders in attendance at the meeting that the new facility in Reserve will be located where the old fire hall used to be.

Mona Ingerson, also of the Council, said there have been many services the Elder Center wanted to provide for their elders but there wasn’t enough room, and now with the larger new facility, those services can be provided. She also said there will be more garage space. She said the garage will be attached to building and the parking lot will be next to building so that elders don’t have to walk across the road as they do now.

“There will also be more office space for transient service people to meet with elders in privacy,” Ingerson stated.

LCO TGB member Michelle Beaudin and Vice Chairwoman Lorraine Gouge attended the meeting to answer questions and provide the update to the elders.

Beaudin said the TGB knew the $1.5 million allocation from ARPA wouldn’t be enough and when the Grants Department informed them of the Neighborhood Investment Fund, they asked them to apply for it.

Gouge said, “Elders can now let us know what they want and we now have the money to make that happen. Your voices are important in this process.”

According to the press release from Governor Tony Evers, part of a nearly $650 million investment allocated by the governor for community building and recovery efforts statewide, the Neighborhood Investment Fund program was announced in August 2021 and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Grants awarded range in size from $1 million to a maximum of $15 million and are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. Applications opened on Sept. 30, 2021, and closed on Nov. 11, 2021. A full list of grant awardees and additional information can be found on the program website.

“A strong recovery means investing for the future, and ensuring that our communities lead the way,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “With the Neighborhood Investment Fund, we are able to support revitalization efforts, address shelter and housing needs, and make a real, lasting impact for our communities.”

Gov. Tony Evers today announced more than $212.9 million has been awarded statewide through the Neighborhood Investment Fund Grant program to address the needs of communities through long-term investments and economic recovery projects.

“From Rice Lake to Kenosha, our Neighborhood Investment Fund is providing support to address a variety of community needs, and whether its affordable housing, area revitalization, or improving the access and delivery of public services, these projects will be transformational in the daily lives of the folks who call these neighborhoods home,” said Gov. Evers. “Over the last week, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with grant recipients all across the state, and the dedication, ingenuity, and passion folks have demonstrated through their creative proposals is proof that these grant dollars are building a foundation for a brighter future for Wisconsinites.”

One of those stops along his tour was in Rice Lake to award $3.5 million to a Main Street revitalization project.

LCO Elders Meeting held at the Kinnamon School Museum to discuss the new elder center.


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