Numerous improvements and countless lives have been impacted in a positive way since the City of Muskogee Foundation was created five years ago.
The Foundation, designed to improve the quality of life in Muskogee, uses funds obtained when the city of Muskogee leased the old Muskogee Regional Medical Center.
The Foundation started with about $105 million. It has about $130 million today after awarding about $27 million in grants to help improve the area.
That’s the absolute best case scenario — impacting lives in a positive way and growing funds through investments at the same time.
It is difficult to find a life that can’t be connected to improvements fostered by the Foundation board’s work.
The citizens of Muskogee have benefited many times from the approximately $9.43 million in grants awarded to the city.
Two and one-half million dollars have been awarded to the city to improve our parks.
The city has received money to fix roads, too.
It has received money to purchase properties that soon may yield economic development possibilities.
The Foundation has funded programs to help students earn degrees and keep them here after graduation.
The Foundation needs city and citizen’s input to improve economic development ideas that could benefit us all in a big way.
The city and citizens should continue to look for that big idea that can change the face of Muskogee forever.
Good ideas can require some tweaking here and there — especially after the fleshing out period that comes after inception.
The Foundation many times has required matching funds when awarding grants to local groups. Whether to lower the matching fund requirements is worth reviewing.
Some say the city should fund city projects through its budgeting process and not come to the Foundation as often.
However, when you consider where this city stood five years ago, you realize the positive impact the Foundation has made.
You also should be encouraged that the Foundation is primed to make additional positive impact within the city for years to come.