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Could a New Community Center be in Knox County’s Future?

The Knox County Community Center (KCCC) Board has been working hard towards the goal of building a multipurpose community center in Knox County. The eleven-member board is made up of community volunteers all with the focus and desire to see the dream of a new community center built in Knox County.
“We have a very dedicated group of volunteers from the community that really want to see this project become a reality,” states Mary Bohon, KCCC Board secretary and public health nurse with the Knox County Health Department. “This is a project that will provide great opportunities for everyone in the county and it will be nice to see a new building go up in Knox County.”
The newly formed Knox County Community Center (KCCC) Board is an independent subcommittee of the Economic Development Board and will serve as a not-for-profit organization. The KCCC Board will function as a non-political entity that will not be directly controlled by city or county governments. However, the KCCC Board will be working closely with and serve as a “go between” of the local city and county governments to ensure that the community building project is successfully completed.
“We want everyone to know that our main goal is to make our community a better place to live and raise a family by making a community center a reality,” explains Lindsay Leckbee, KCCC Board president. “Our hope is to improve the health of our small town community while increasing the amount of community activities available for all age groups.”
The first step that the KCCC Board is taking in building a multipurpose community center is applying for the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program (NAP) through the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The purpose of the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program is to provide not-for-profit community-based organizations with money to implement community improvement projects. If the KCCC Board’s application for the NAP is approved, funding up to $350,000 per year may be raised through tax credits to fund the community center project. Once the NAP application is approved by the Missouri Department of Economic Development the money raised through the NAP can only be used for the proposed community building project by the KCCC Board.
According to Ken Berry, with the Northeast Missouri RC&D and consultant to the KCCC Board, the way the NAP tax credit program works is fairly basic. The NAP allows an eligible taxpayer to make contributions, which can be in the form of cash donations, materials, supplies, equipment, professional services and labor, to the community center project and in return receive tax credits at 50-70% of the value of the donation. This allows eligible donors who already owe Missouri State taxes to donate to the Knox County Community Center project and pay less in Missouri State taxes. If you itemize your deductions on both your State and Federal tax forms, you may also be able to take additional tax deductions for your Community Center donations. Eligible taxpayers for the tax credit program include: corporations, insurance companies, express companies, banks and other financial institutions, partnerships, limited liability companies, individuals that operate a sole proprietorship, operate a farm, have rental property in Missouri or have royalty income in Missouri. Your tax preparer will be able to let you know if you are eligible to donate to a Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program.
“This project will not increase your taxes,” explains board member Larry Clark. “The NAP will allow people who already owe state taxes to invest in their local community and end up paying less tax money into the state.”
The Scotland County Community Fitness Center in Memphis, Missouri was funded through NAP tax credits. The Scotland County Community Fitness Center Board has applied for and successfully implemented two NAP projects. The first project was to renovate an already existing and empty structure in the city of Memphis. With the first NAP, Scotland County residents donated over $490,000 over a three-year period to provide the funds to renovate and buy the equipment for the state-of-the-art Fitness Center. With the second NAP, over $401,000 was donated over several years through NAP funding and a full size gymnasium was built next to the existing Fitness Center building.
“Scotland County has done this successfully,” reports Gary Waite, member of the KCCC Board. “Keep in mind that this is a long term process and it may take several years to complete. The most important thing is to have community support and commitment to the project.”
The Knox County Community Center Board needs the help and support of the whole community to make the dream of a Community Center come true. The KCCC Board has recently mailed and distributed over 3,500 surveys throughout the community and really wants input from everyone. The survey is the first requirement in the NAP application process, and will help the KCCC Board establish that the community needs and will support the Community Center Project. The survey results will also help the KCCC Board determine what type of facility that members of the community want and will use.
Board member Jeanne Bailey emphasizes “It’s going to take the effort of the entire community to get this accomplished, but the end result will be well worth all of the hard work.”
Surveys for the KCCC Board NAP project are available and completed surveys can be dropped of at the following locations: In EDINA- Knox County Health Department, Citizen’s Bank of Edina, United State Bank, Northeast Missouri Family Health Clinic, Family Health Center of Edina, C&R Supermarket, Knox County Library, Parish PC Repair, Bailey’s Floral and Gifts, KC Elementary, Middle and High School Offices, In BARING: Baring Café, In KNOX CITY: Jim’s Auto and KC Water District Office, In NEWARK: Robyn’s Nest, In NOVELTY: Novelty Feed, Seed and Supply and In HURDLAND: Mark Twain Telephone.
Surveys will also be distributed and collected by KCCC Board members during the upcoming Relay for Life Event in Edina on June 6 & 7. The surveys will be collected through Friday, June 20, 2008.
“Please take the time to fill out and return your survey,” encourages board member Gary Waite. “We need feedback from everyone to move on with the Community Center Project.”
The volunteer members of the Knox County Community Center Board are Jeanne Bailey, Robert Becker, Larry Clark, Annie Fisher, Daryl Huchteman, Eric Klocke, Bob Leckbee, Lindsay Leckbee, Gary Parish, Gary Waite and Mary Bohon. The KCCC Board meets every third Thursday of the month at 6:30PM at the Knox County Health Department and any interested community members are welcome to attend. Please contact the Knox County Health Department at 660-397-3396 M-F between 8AM-4PM with questions or comments.