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County keno funds provide community betterment in county PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 29 January 2015 18:04

HawkQuest was one of the featured presentations offered to SCORE camp attendees during the 2013 SCORE camps. (Imperial Republican file photo)


By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


Chase County has funds available for community betterment, thanks to keno proceeds at Enders Lake Golf Course. The Chase County Commissioners oversee net keno proceeds (keno proceeds minus prizes, taxes and expenses) in an account fed by keno gambling. As of the last statement, the fund had $47,782.30.

The commissioners recently approved an expenditure of approximately $10,000, which has not been subtracted from the amount above, to help bring the traveling Vietnam Wall to Imperial later this year.

Billie Muehlenkamp, who oversees the account for the commissioners, said the funds in the keno account can be used for community betterment projects within Chase County.

“As long as the county is involved, anyone can use the fund as long as it is to be used for community betterment,” Muehlenkamp explained.

Since she has been working with the fund, there have been withdrawals to help sponsor a Girl Scout project to place a picnic bench outside the courthouse, three $5,000 expenditures for SCORE (Science Camps Offer Rewarding Experiences) Camps and now the newly approved expenditure for the traveling Vietnam Wall.

County Commissioner Don Weiss, Jr. said the commissioners are “pretty picky” about which projects they approve for potential payment from the keno funds and said many projects submitted to the State Keno Board have been turned down.

Requests to use county keno funds must be made to the county commissioners, who in turn must gain approval from the State Keno Board.

Weiss added that requests have been made to use the funds for other projects, but have been turned down by the State Keno Board.

Weiss explained the fund only receives approximately $2,200 per year in net proceeds and the commissioners are committed to providing $5,000 in funding to the SCORE camp, held every other year.

SCORE Camp Director and Co-Founder Marla Smith said the keno funds from the county have been used by the Chase County Schools Education Foundation to help fund the camp’s main attractions. This year, the main attractions that will be funded in part by keno funds will be Fontenelle Forest, Riverside Zoo and Wildlife Encounters.

In order to qualify for keno funds, projects must meet certain criteria which qualify it as a community betterment. Basically, the project must improve the Chase County community in some way and projects must be accessible or open to all residents of the county.

In reference to the traveling Vietnam Wall Weiss said, “We’ve been waiting a long time for a project like the Vietnam Wall. It will be very educational.”