• Wed October 25 2006
  • Posted Oct 25, 2006
Lee County has benefited from a little-known program that invests state gambling revenue in outdoor recreation and historical preservation. When matched with other local and federal dollars, $1,455,279 from the Resource Enhancement And Protraction, or REAP, program has created more than $4 million in new multi-purpose trails, parks, wildlife habitat, water quality improvements, roadside plantings and more. The Lee County REAP committee will meet at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Pilot Grove meeting room in Donnellson to highlight the REAP projects in Lee County. The open house will focus on the $1.45 million dollars spent so far on projects in the county and give people the opportunity to see how increased funding for the REAP could further benefit Lee County communities. REAP Coordinator Ross Harrison said people in Iowa need to know more about the program so that they realize it should be fully funded. Currently the program receives about half of funds of $20 million that were originally to be allocated to it. Harrison said the program has dozens of partners in every county because of the way the money is distributed. A formula in the REAP act makes sure public parks, trails and natural areas get a share, as well as private landowners, conservation educators and those involved in historic preservation. Fort Madison, Keokuk, Shimek State Forest and the Lee County Conservation Board have netted $521,049 from REAP. Historical Resource Development and the North Lee County Historical Society and the Fort Madison and Keokuk Public Libraries have received almost $71,000 for historical projects. The city of Fort Madison received $107,771 for improvements to Rodeo Park's recreational trail. Nearly $37,000 has gone for soil erosion and water quality improvements on private land. Other projects in Fort Madison from 1990 on include, for Fort Madison, $8,000 for the purchase of French House Preserve and $13,390 for restoration of Old French House. The Library received $335 for conservation of the original circulation desk and $8,000 for exterior restoration. Lynn Faeth received $20,000 for restoration of the Daniel McConn barn and Historical Resource Development used $20,000 for the porch of the Albright House and another $20,000 for masonry work to the house.

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