WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Supports Project

Aug 28, 2012

The Lee County Board of Supervisors hopes a simple gesture will kick-off a successful fundraising campaign for two county departments.

The Health and Conservation Departments would like to build a shared facility along Highway 61 near the current Conservation Office.

The building could cost more than $4-million, which is much more than the county can afford at this point.

Supporters say people, businesses and organizations have not been willing to donate money without knowing whether the county would support the project.

That prompted the supervisors to pledge $50,000 for the shared facility.

The pledge has one condition, though, as the group must raise $500,000 before the end of the year.  The figure cannot include money from grants or loans for which supporters are applying.

Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says the board feels the fundraising rule is critical in determining whether there is community support for the project.

The supervisors previously pledged $5,000.  That money was used on a feasibility study for the shared facility.

Fife-LaFrenz says if the fundraising falls short, there could still be a vote of the people as to whether the county should borrow the money needed to pay for the facility.

She says the current condition of the two buildings dictates that something be done.