6 Diboll agencies set to benefit from several thousand dollar grants

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - Diboll ISD is one of six Diboll agencies splitting $555,964 in grants. The district's portion will be on display every Friday night this fall, as they're purchasing three new sports scoreboards.

"More people come to ball games to see Diboll than they come just to see our schools or whatever. When they visit us, we want them to see something that's nice, well-maintained facilities and a nice scoreboard and nice things like that because they leave with the impression that we care," said Superintendent Gary Martel of DISD.

The school district is also purchasing new hydraulic shears, which cut and bend metal, for those students in the welding program. All of the money granted to DISD, Martel says, was matched by the district.

The police department is using its $87,569 on new camera systems in every patrol car. The department will also purchase 15 new bullet-proof vests, citation writing systems, and other investigative items. Chief Ricky Conner says every penny helps.

"All the guys, myself, it takes the strain off our budget. You know, the way budgets are nowadays, everybody is looking for anything that they can gain an advantage. It's just a great deal for Diboll," said Conner.

The "Thomas T. Keeler Grant Program" is responsible for investing in Diboll's future. Before his death in 1998, Keeler hand-picked ten organizations to benefit from his estate. Diboll Booster Club is one of those.

"He picked these as that was his charities that he want to have supported," said T.L.L. Temple Foundation Executive Director, Wayne Corley.

Altogether, 3.7 million dollars worth of grants were awarded this year. With extra help, Conner says his department won't do without.

"It's going to get us pretty much where we need to be. Of course, you always want the other things. But, that's going to get us up to date with pretty much everything we need," said Conner.

In turn, it's creating a better Diboll for everyone.

The city will use $50,000 dollars toward restrooms at Old Orchard Park, $205,957 toward golf course renovations, and $69, 949 toward a digital media sign. The Katherine Sage Temple Child Care Center received $40,000 toward updating their playground equipment. Angelina Beautiful Clean received $21,000 toward "Keep Diboll Beautiful". The Boys and Girls Club received $10,000 toward HVAC and sprinkler replacements. The Diboll Christian Outreach will use their $12,000 toward food purchases.

Grants are set to be awarded to the same organizations annually, but the amount of funding allotted could change from year to year. We're told the money is in perpetuity, meaning it won't run out. For each organization to receive their money, an application explaining the use of the funds, must be approved through the board of trustees.

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