Fair Board Seeks Grant to Construct Community Building

A public hearing was held during the Marshall County Commissioners meeting on Monday to hear comments on the proposed construction of a community building to be constructed on the 4-H Fairgrounds in Argos.

Shannon McLeod, a grant writer from Priority Project Resources, is assisting the Marshall County Fair Board  in obtaining a federal grant to build the structure.  The building would be used as a meeting place, wedding reception hall or any other type of use by the community. 

McLeod said the project has been modified a little since the concept was brought to the commissioners in May.  Cost estimates have caused the fair board to scale back the project to better fit a smaller budget.  McLeod said right now the proposed facility is an 11,000 square foot building that would be a conventional frame with metal siding and brick veneer.  The inside of the building would be complete for the purpose of renting space for community needs.

The fair board is seeking a $500,000 Public Facilities Program grant within the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.  The total cost of the project is $1.2 million and the fair board is attempting to come up with the $700,000 local match to complete the financing part of the project.  Board members are conducting fundraising and discussing options with financial advisors.

An income survey is required with this grant and will begin next week.  Residents can expect visits door-to-door and phone calls concerning the survey.  The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department will advise listeners of the action.  This information is needed to determine if the county is within the qualifying percentage of household income for the grant.

There was a question if office space will be allowed in the new building.  In order to qualify for the grant, the entire space of the community building would need to be available to the public so office space would not qualify as a purpose of space.

The letter of intent is due Sept. 1.  Grant awards will be announced at the end of October.  If awarded, the construction on the building would begin next year.  Another public hearing will need to be set before Sept. 1 to submit a budget and financing plan for the project.