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County provides funds for 4-H grant

Thursday, commissioners, clerk Dale Burcham and Common Pleas Court judges worked together to find about $100,000 for a fund that will entice state agriculture officials into funding Lawrence County fairgrounds repairs, said Clark, fair board president.

Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Thursday, commissioners, clerk Dale Burcham and Common Pleas Court judges worked together to find about $100,000 for a fund that will entice state agriculture officials into funding Lawrence County fairgrounds repairs, said Clark, fair board president.

"We were at a meeting back at the first of July where they (state officials) basically said if we can come up with a matching fund, then the grant would most likely be ours," he said.

A $100,000 Ohio Department of Agriculture check could come this year, which, when added to the county’s fund, will mean one of the biggest facelifts in the fairgrounds’ history, Clark said.

"It’s a new state grant program, with $10 million in it," he said. "Any fair in the state can get some of it if they have $100,000 to match. And now we do."

Once the money is received, the first repair target will be a new 4-H food booth because the current one is in such bad shape, Clark said.

Then, a new 4-H exhibit hall roof, repairs to the livestock barn, grandstand work, painting and much more will come afterward, he said.

"There could be portable bleachers for crowded nights and even adding on to some buildings," Clark added. "We could move the office and shift some things around and we might try to work on access – all the things we’ve thought about for years."

Burcham’s office became involved in the grant when approached by Clark and commissioners for assistance.

"The commissioners say they can rake up the money, but they can’t rake up right now and it has to be done this month," he said.

So, of the total county matching money, about $45,000 was ordered by the court from court cost collections account into the commissioners’ accounts, he said.

And $50,000 is title fund money, funds Burcham’s office doesn’t have to use right now, he added.

Burcham said his office will enjoy seeing the changes at the fairgrounds and has no worries about shifting county funds to help them happen.

"If the grant is approved, I’ve been promised the money back into the fund, but it’s a good thing for 4-H and a good thing for the kids of the county and we’re happy to do it," Burcham said.

Clark said he thanked the county for "bending over backward to help with our needs" and expected the grant program to run smoothly.

"It’s for the youth of the county and of our future and it will work," he said.