Tuesday evening the Bourbon Town Council heard the request of Linda Yoder from the Marshall County Community Foundation and United Way for a donation to the Blue Zones project for Marshall County.

Yoder has been making her rounds to the various city and towns requesting funding assistance for the Blue Zones project which brings together local stakeholders and international well-being experts to introduce evidence-based programs and changes to the environment, policies, and social networks. Together, they measurably improve well-being.

She said the total needed for the 4-year project is $6.1 million.  Yoder said they plan to seek a READI grant which could cover 20% or $1.2 million of the total cost.   The city, towns, and hopefully county government will also put in 20 to 25% of their ARPA funds for the public match and the final 60% will come from private companies, corporations, industries, schools and individuals.

The Town of Culver was the first to step up and pledged 25% of their ARPA Funds or $75,000 to the Blue Zone project.  The City of Plymouth was next and also pledged 25% of their ARPA Funds or $520,000.  Bremen put in 10% or $100,000.

When asked what Yoder was seeking for a donation she said, Bourbon is scheduled to receive $367,000 in American Rescue Plan dollars and 25% would be $91,777. 

Vice President Les McFarland said, “With the health care issues over at Saint Joseph Health Systems, that has probably messed up some of this planning.”  Yoder’s response was, “It pushed forth the urgency in addressing the health factors we have in Marshall County.”  She continued, “We’ve got great hospital systems with Beacon and Saint Joseph Health System.  We are all discouraged that some of those services are discontinued, and they are increasing our transportation needs. But I can’t think of a better reason to start investing in those things that will help us become a healthier community.” 

McFarland thanked Yoder for coming to their meeting and said they are beginning to look at their budget for next year.  He also commented that the Tax Caps have hurt the town and they will have to look at the availability of funds.