Ag Center asks for county funding

February 19, 1998


Staff Writer

The Washington County Agricultural Education Center Inc. and the Pen Mar Development Corporation would become eligible to receive county funds under a proposal to be considered by the County Commissioners.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, at 10 a.m. in the County Commissioners meeting room at 100 W. Washington St.

John Staub, president of the agricultural center board, said the center might borrow money from the county to match a $350,000 state grant for construction of the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum this summer. The center would pay off the loan through future donations, Staub said.


"It's not to get on their wish list and demand money each year for support," Staub said.

The museum, combined with a new county office building that will house several agricultural agencies, will be built this summer.

Ag Center Coordinator Lori Taylor said $210,000 has been raised or pledged to match the state grant. The center is owned by the county and is part of the county's parks system.

The Pen Mar Development Corporation is the nonprofit group charged with redeveloping Fort Ritchie.

James Lafleur, the deputy executive director of the corporation, said county funding would be used to match federal grants. Lafleur said the county has already provided support to the group, mostly through in-kind services, when it was the Local Redevelopment Authority.

The Pen Mar Development Corporation hasn't yet presented a budget request to the County Commissioners for next year.

County Attorney Richard Douglas said the county keeps a list of nonprofit groups that are eligible to receive county donations. The list must be updated 90 days before the next fiscal year, he said.

Douglas said putting the ag center corporation and Pen Mar Development Corporation on the list would make them eligible for, but not entitled, to funding.

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