Rick Thompson, President, and CEO of Marshall Starke Development Center (MSDC) presented the Marshall County Commissioners with a quote for a security system during their meeting Monday.  The commissioners have set aside some of the county’s ARPA Funds to assist the nonprofit organizations they help through the county’s regular budget process. 

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer recently toured the Marshall Starke facilities and found they had no security systems in place.  Having approximately 150 children and dozens of adults with a variety of disabilities he suggested the center seek quotes for a security system and have the board of directors make the determination of which company’s services they preferred.   

Thompson presented a quote of $62,267.60 from Vermillion Systems of Plymouth.  The system included panic buttons, notification to the police if an incident happens, where the issue is located in the facility, and will allow the police to access the security cameras prior to arrival on the scene.   and will be taken to the County Council next week.

Christine Gardner, Executive Director of the Marshall County Neighborhood Center also presented a request to the commissioners on Monday for the purchase and construction of a walk-in freezer. She provided two quotes from Polar King for a 21-foot by 14-foot unit that will be constructed at the facility on West Garro Street.  For years the Neighborhood Center has used a number of refrigerators and upright and chest freezers to store perishable foods and meats.  The walk-in freezer will allow them to remove many of those residential-type units giving more space in the building and allowing them to handle larger donations of frozen foods, especially during the holiday season. 

Garner told the commissioners they had 110 new households apply for assistance from July and August.  That number hadn’t been that big since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  She also remarked that they are having trouble keeping basic foods in supply with the increased need. 

The two quotes were $53,013.15 for a walk-in unit with the cooling system on the inside of the freezer and $59,949.75 for a walk-in freezer with the cooling unit on the exterior of the unit.  She explained that if the cooling system is on the inside, you lose the top shelf space.  Both systems include customized shelving and would take 6 to 12 weeks for delivery.    

The hope is to get the freezer unit installed within the shorter time frame so it can be used for frozen turkeys and ham during the holiday season.

The motion was made and approved to purchase the walk-in freezer with the external cooling unit at a cost of $59,949.75.

Both requests will be presented to the County Council at their meeting next week.  While official approval of the appropriations can’t be made at that meeting, the council can pledge their support and take official action during their November meeting.  That action will allow Marshall Starke and the Neighborhood Center to move forward with the purchasing process.