Ray Scherer


A Hermann improvement group met Monday night to sketch out a roadmap of sorts for ways to promote future projects.


The Community Foundation of the Hermann Area board held a regular session in the board room of the Gasconade County R-1 School District, featuring updates from various leaders and committees. Born in 2005, the foundation's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the Hermann area through resource development, community grantmaking, collaboration, and public leadership.


To date, with its 56 accounts, the foundation has amassed total assets of more than $2.9 million toward its causes.


Among reports, Judy Cantoni, of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, said work is ongoing this month to prepare new grant budgets. The local foundation is one of the CFO's affiliates.


Opportunities for investment in foundation programs will become available through legacy grants. Applicants must be 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.


Cantoni reported that some funding is still available for interested groups that have seen COVID-19 impact their missions. Those funds are intended to keep organizations viable in their quest to relieve residents affected by the virus.


Lynette Watts, who serves as the foundation's coordinator, said a local COVID-19 task force met Monday afternoon.


"We anticipate having more demand on things," she told the board of requests for assistance due to the pandemic. The task force is charged with taking the pulse of the community during the crisis and assessing the stockpile of resources for relief.


Board Vice President Ron Kraettli reviewed recent activities that involve the GRO 3.0 (Growth of Rural Ozarks) initiative. Its overall goals are to ensure Hermann's public and private schools, and Hermann Area District Hospital, remain viable.


Kraettli added the initiative is also working on several development projects, such as seeking a new tenant for the old Hardee's restaurant and partnering with the Meramec Regional Planning Commission in a housing study.


"We don't know if we'll be successful," said Kraetttli, noting the initiative will give its best effort with the projects. "It's things we're looking at."


He said another avenue involves consideration of walkways for Hermann, "which gives people something to do," with the Missouri University of Science and Technology looking at the potential of such a network extending through the city.


Members are also working with the Missouri Partnership, of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, to advertise the availability of several properties, including some in the Hermann Industrial Park.


Board President Gary Heldt said a history of the foundation and its accomplishments thus far should be compiled, as a reference guide to help promote causes throughout Hermann.


"I think that's real important," said Heldt.