OSAGE | During the Sept. 25 meeting of the Osage City Council, members unanimously voted to offer a 2-to-1 fundraising match for the Osage Community Daycare Project.

The day care project has been on hold since spring, when the project failed to secure a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant. The proposed new structure could potentially be located just northwest of Lincoln Elementary.

Construction of the 7,431-square-foot facility, with an estimated cost of $1.45 million, could begin as early as May 2018.

At the Jan. 16 meeting of the Osage City Council, Osage Community Daycare Director, Shelley Parks, stated applications for an additional $360,000 loan from the USDA and Osage Municipal Utilities had been submitted. OMU would be responsible for $60,000 of that loan. This was in addition to the $600,000 CDBG.

In January, Parks said a public fund drive, started in late December, had netted $221,229 from businesses, organizations and private donations. The city of Osage had pledged $120,000 toward the project as well. The remainder of the $1.501 million would have to be obtained through grants or donations.

Although the council did not set a maximum pledge for the 2-to-1 campaign, Parks said after the October meeting, the total cost of the project was estimated to be $1.45 million with an additional $592,000 being needed to make the day care debt-free when it moved into the new structure.

In addition, Parks said no specific deadline had been set to raise the funds for the match.

“We would like to have the fundraising campaign done by the time construction starts in the spring,” Parks said.

The size of the proposed structure has remained the same, at 7,431 square feet, which would include five classrooms, kitchen/food service area, director’s office, assistant director/reception area and associated spaces.

A child care room would be constructed as a tornado safe room for the entire building.

Parks said the day care committee planned to meet with the Osage School Board this past Monday night, to share plans and timeline of the project, for possible collaboration.

The committee is currently working on three fundraising events, to be held in the coming months. Currently, a raffle is being held for two general admission tickets to Tree Town 2018, $500 cash and an Xbox One. Tickets can be purchased at the day care, 915 Pine Street, Osage. In addition, anyone wishing to make a donation, can send a check to the same address.

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