Posted 9/08/15 (Tue)
By Cecile Krimm
The Divide County Economic Development Council has pledged up to $150,000 to a Crosby daycare project, according to community developer KayCee Lindsey.
Lindsey announced the pledge to members of the Divide County Jobs Development Authority (JDA) at a meeting last week.
She said the county will be asked for a donation of in kind services in the removal of the former bowling alley where the daycare would be located, but Divide County Commissioners who sit on the JDA board were non-committal about how such a request might be received.
“There’s so many private contractors now looking for work,” said Commissioner Doug Graupe.
Commissioner Gerald Brady questioned how the project can proceed without definite commitment of funds to get a $1 million project built.
“Without the full package in place they’re still moving forward?” he asked Lindsey.
She said the pledge from the EDC, along with expected grant funds and a loan of about $250,000 for the non-profit daycare group is what is known at this time, with more fundraising needed.
“If it takes a long time, it takes a long time,” said Lindsey, but the need is not going away.
She said 30 families have been on a waiting list for services for the past four months. More or less that number have been in need at any given time over the past several years.
Ideally, she said, the daycare would operate debt free. However, with 85 percent capacity on a facility that can handle 74 non-school age and 22 school age children, they believe the project could support up to $250,000 in debt.
The daycare would intend to seek a tax exemption on the building. Lindsey said the estimate is $18,000 per year in property tax, which would be too heavy a burden on the operation.
“It’s tight but it’s definitely something they’re going to try to move forward with,” Lindsey said.
At the meeting, held Wednesday last week, JDA members also approved $250 grants for each of two in home daycare providers in Crosby, with one of the grants contingent on obtaining licensing.
According to grant applications, Alexa Kruger is already licensed and serves seven children, plus two after school. Allison Warrick is in the process of getting licensed. She plans to serve a total of nine children.
The grants are to be used for help with start up equipment.