OUS asks commission for #036;100,000

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2003

Because of their almost 50 years of supporting Lawrence County, Ohio University Southern wants the county to support them.

Dr. Dan Evans, OUS dean, and Bob Smith, assistant dean for development, asked the Lawrence County Commission for $100,000 donation to be spread out over the next five years. This money is needed, Smith said, for various university projects, namely the new Proctorville center.

"Never in life do you wear a catcher's mitt on both hands," Smith said. "You want to be able to throw something back. We would hope that the county would consider throwing back to OUS."

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Ohio University's ongoing Bicentennial Campaign ends on June 30, 2004, and the campaign's goal is to raise $200 million. The southern campus will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2006, Smith said. The campaign goal for the southern campus is $5 million and $3.3 million has been raised so far.

The university has raised $1.6 million for the Proctorville center and this includes the property donation, Smith said. However, $750,000 has to be raised locally before the project can get off the ground.

Evans asked the commission to consider the economic impact of OUS. Even though the university pays no taxes, it has a $12 million budget and the majority of that budget is used for payroll, he said. Two thousand students attend the university and they also contribute to the local economy, he said.

Commission President George Patterson said the university has also lessened the financial burden on families because their children have the opportunity to attend school locally.

While the commission supports the university, Patterson said much work needs to be done before it can determine if they can donate the money.

"If it were to come out of the general fund, it would be very tough," he said. "We totally support OU and their efforts in the Proctorville area, but it would be impossible to determine without the thoughts of the other commissioners. We have some ideas to work on and discuss. Any way we can help, we'll certainly do it, but we can't give a definite on that."

In other matters, the commission appointed Chief Deputy Recorder Kim Estep to fill the county recorder position left vacant with the retirement of Sue Deeds. The county decided to wait until receiving a legal opinion as to whether or not it could make the appointment from the Prosecutor's office. Estep will fill the position until a replacement is named by the Republican Central Committee.