Groups seek county cash for projects

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 9, 2002

Representatives from various agencies in the county met with commissioners during a budget workshop Thursday, requesting the financial participation of the county in efforts ranging from a historical society expansion to a new pound for stray animals.

The Agriculture Society, which administrates the county fair, asked for $40,000 for the renovation and maintenance of buildings on the fairgrounds. The organization thinks the grandstand requires a major replacement or repair of the metal roof and cement walls inside, and will start researching the scope of the need as well as the historic value of the structure.

The Freeborn County Historical Society requested $15,000, part of which might be spent on preparing for a building expansion in the future. The current facility does not have space for the exhibition of history after 1940.

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Greater Jobs, Inc. said it wants $27,000, of which $20,000 would be applied to the operation of the Albert Lea Business Development Center, a business incubator which opened this year. The facility is projected to have about $30,000 in income from rent, but the expenses will amount to $96,600.

The Freeborn County Humane Society asked for county money to boost its plan to have a new animal pound. The volunteer organization takes care of 50 to 100 stray dogs and cats in the rural area where animal-control authority does not exist.

The board will set a maximum levy in September and finalize the 2003 budget by December.


Amounts asked by each organization are:

– Soil and Water Conservation District: $101,885

– Albert Lea Public Library: $196,000

– Agricultural Society: $40,000

– Greater Jobs, Inc*: $27,000

– Freeborn County Historical Society: $15,000, plus utility bill

– Senior Resources: $7,500

– Southern Minnesota Initiative Fund: $5,000

– Freeborn County Humane Society*: $4,000

– Convention and Visitors Bureau: $1,000

*denotes first-time organizations to have a county commitment if appropriated