Monday morning the Marshall County Council considered the request for an additional appropriation for the public matching funds for the READI Grant of $1.75 million awarded to the Lifelong Learning Network.
Before the official request was considered, Executive Director Allie Shook and Greg Hildebrand, Vice-President of the Board of Directors updated the Council on their progress. Shook said early childhood is moving along and they are looking for an early childhood coordinator. She said they are using the shared services hub currently. Shook also said that CTE programming continues to add courses for students. Adult Ed continues to work on figuring out the best ways to offer and expand courses and help fill gaps where needed for adult learners. On the Work Force Development side, they continue to offer classes through Purdue including leadership, development, and industrial maintenance to mention a couple.
Shook said there were only four projects that received the full funding request, and the Lifelong Learning Network was one of those. Hildebrand said the Regional Development Authority (RDA) commented that the application presented by the Lifelong Learning Network was a how-to application including lots of pertinent information for the decision-making process.
obligated by 2024 and expended by Dec.2026.
During consideration of the additional appropriation, Council President Mandy Campbell read, “On August 1st the Commissioners voted to support resolution 2022-15 and on August 8th the council voted to support the resolution 5 to 2 for the READI Grant projects. On October 17th the Lifelong Learning Network requested funding for the county match. The commissioners voted 3-0 in support of the matching funds.”
Without any additional discussion, the motion was made to support the matching fund request. The vote was 5 to 2 with Councilman Jesse Bohannon and Tim Harman being the two no votes.
When the two councilpersons were asked by WTCA why they voted no on the Lifelong Learning appropriation of ARP Funds in the amount of $1.5 million they responded:
“I don’t think it’s a fundamental responsibility of county government and I think we’re vastly exceeding what we originally committed to for non-profits. That’s money that should be spent on the roads which is our fundamental responsibility,” councilman Jesse Bohannon.
Councilman Tim Harmon said, “Pretty much ditto. I believe that we voted against it, and I want to stay consistent with my viewpoint on that. It’s $1.5 million that I’d rather see go to infrastructure.”