County Board awards several SCORE grants

The Sherburne County Board has approved the distribution of $48,459 in state SCORE grant funds among applicants including the cities of Becker and Elk River, two scout troops, CLIMB Theatre and Sherburne County 4-H.

Here are the local recipients:

•The city of Elk River is receiving $18,000 in SCORE funds toward a project to introduce “Big Belly/Smart Belly” trash and recycling containers in city parks and the downtown district.

The containers allow users to drop plastic bottles and aluminum cans into a separate slot from other refuse. Solar energy works to compact the trash that is deposited, and proponents say the equipment will improve recycling habits (which, to date, have been virtually nonexistent) in the city’s public places. With matching funds of $17,282 committed by Elk River, the city will have enough money to buy and place five of the new containers.

•Zimmerman/Princeton Girl Scout Troop 578 and Becker Boy Scout Troop 92 are receiving $11,159 in combined SCORE funds to support their annual traditions of hosting recycling events for paper and cardboard.

– CLIMB Theatre, based in Inver Grove Heights, is receiving $15,000 (out of a requested $16,770) toward the production and performance of educational plays on the “3 Rs” — reducing, reusing and recycling. CLIMB has written two productions — one geared to students in kindergarten through second grade and another for third through fifth-graders — to be presented 23 times at 11 elementary schools in Sherburne County, reaching an estimated 6,200 students.

•Sherburne County 4-H is introducing organic food waste recycling at its county fair food stand this year, and will receive $1,300 in SCORE funds toward that $1,800 initiative.

Residential and commercial property owners fund the SCORE program through the solid waste management taxes that are added to the invoices from their garbage haulers. (The current rates are 9.75 percent for residential users, 17 percent for commercial users.)

The Minnesota Department of Revenue allots those annual tax collections among the state’s 87 counties based on resident populations.