During the Public Comment of the Commissioner’s meeting on Monday, Bob Byers of Argos discussed the ordinance amendment for grant applications.  He said, “I believe that that grant application process for department heads in Marshall County Indiana is a lengthy drawn-out process at times.” 

Byers said because of the time frame on some grants, the county could miss an opportunity because of the long-drawn-out process which includes approval from both the commissioners and council prior to submitting the application.  He said, “Grant money is tax money, but everybody refers to it as free money for the county if you will.  We paid the taxes to the state and feds, we might as well try to get some of it back.”  His concern with the amendment was the potential lack of transparency the new changes may allow. Byers said, “I believe with government, transparency is 100% necessary.”  He feared it might put governing boards in a “tight spot” if the ordinance was changed and the grant in question wasn’t required pre-authorization and there was a negative effect on the county.    

The Marshall County Commissioners passed on the second and third readings of the ordinance amendment for the approval and administration policy of grants for Marshall County departments. 

The ordinance amendment requires elected officers and department heads to complete a grant request form if the grant requires administration of the funds by the County Auditor, potentially adds personnel, or requires matching funds.  If the grant doesn’t add personnel or needs matching funds and is part of the department’s regular funding, then prior approval from the Board of Commissioners and the Council isn’t necessary. 

If a county department head or elected official is applying for a new grant, and if it doesn’t include employment of additional regular or part-time personnel and does not need matching funds, the application does not need Commissioner or Council’s prior approval.   

The motion to pass on second and third reading was approved by a 3-0 vote of the commissioners.