The Parsons City Council met on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, to distribute the $895,000 available this year from the William Mahan Harman Memorial Fund. PRO ON TRAC received a grant of $64,000 to be used for the renovation of the Eddie McDonald Building in downtown Parsons.
The purpose of the Harman Fund is to provide perpetual funding for several entities in the city of Parsons. As Parsons Attorney Pat Nichols explained last year, “There are basically four components – one is the Parsons Cemetery, another is the distribution of funds to maintain the Parsons Parks, one for the Parsons Five Rivers Public Library and finally, any remaining net income to be used for the benefit of the citizens of Parsons.” The fund is managed by the Tucker Community Foundation and the interest distributed annually by the Parsons City Council.
The McDonald Building renovation was among the projects selected for the benefit of the citizens. When completed, one of the most prominent dilapidated buildings in Parsons will have been transformed into a productive and appealing space. Two apartments are planned for the second floor, while the ground floor will provide commercial space and a community events facility.
Funding from a 2015 Harman Fund grant enabled PRO ON TRAC to stop the deterioration of the building by shoring the structure, rebuilding the floors and center wall, replacing the roof and installing windows. All of our efforts up to this point have laid important groundwork for the next phase of the project.
PRO ON TRAC is a non-profit organization, and all future income from the building will go toward our continuing efforts to revitalize Parsons. We are deeply grateful for the City Council's willingness to invest in this project, which we believe is an essential part of the future of our city.