Terri Barnhart, Vice President of the Marshall County 4-H Council asked the County Commissioners to reinstate the $10,000 returned by Purdue to the back to the 4-H Council at their meeting this week.

Barnhart said, “This funding is crucial to supporting the 4-H youth and operations at the Marshall County Fairgrounds during the fair.” 

Barnhart shared that they recently received a $50,000 Hometown T Mobile Grant which will allow them to create an inclusive environment at the fair to allow youth with diverse physical, mental, and emotional abilities to participate in the 4-H program.

These funds will allow them to implement ADA-compliant improvements which include bleachers, adult changing tables, high-low tables for wheelchair accessibility, and braille signs with images and words to benefit visually impaired and nonreaders.

Other positive changes and opportunities will open up for 4-H participants with these funds.  With the additional $10,000 the 4-H Council intends to prioritize the acquisition of a new PA system. The new system will incorporate essential features such as closed captioning for televisions in the arenas along with scrolling boards in the barns with updates on classes and events and vital safety management with weather alerts, active shooter situations if necessary, and missing person notifications.

The new PA System can enhance the overall experience for all attendees.

The current PA System was installed in the early 90s.

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer has discussed this request with 4-H Council members and understands the need for it.  She noted that it would be installed for this year’s fair. 

Commission Mike Burroughs asked Auditor Angie Bierchmier where the $10,000 is held and she said in the General Fund. She said it could be appropriated into the Commissioner’s Donation line in the budget.  Bierchmier commented that the County Council was supportive of the donation at their last meeting.

Commissioner Burroughs made the motion to donate the $10,000 as a pre-pay to the 4-H Council so they won’t have to wait for any additional approvals.  It was unanimously approved by the commissioners.