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Although the Spencer County Extension Council has been a large, important and powerful part of the county for many years, the turnout at Monday’s meeting was more than any other meeting in recent history according to Council President Jerry Eye.
What made this meeting so enticing as to bring folks out of the woodwork to attend? Although the extension office did provide a meal for those in attendance, it is more likely the fact that the council is in the process of attempting to spend three-quarters of a million dollars to purchase land to build a new extension office building. One that would be an asset to the community as a whole.
During Monday’s meeting, a presentation was given by a representative for land owner Carl Sweazy showing his property behind Country Mart with the possible layouts and a “wish list,” for the property that had been discussed.
Some items on the wish list were: a larger building (three times the size of the existing building), more parking spots (five times as many parking spots as are now available), a park like setting, meeting rooms of different sizes, an exhibition area, extension library, classrooms, community garden, walking trail, small arboretum with different species of trees and a greenhouse/display garden.
Sweazy requested to keep discussions of the possible project confidential until such a time that he was ready to bring it to public attention, which was how it was handled by Eye and other members of the council.
Although, it appeared an easy decision to make, the 33 plus council members were not all on the same page.
There was a time factor in place concerning the Sweazy parcel of land and despite that, the council members made a motion to send this information to the future committee. The future committee is a group of members from the extension council who will investigate the different locations brought before them. They will decide which ones are to be presented before the council for vote and to allow other council members more time to bring other land options to the table as well.
Despite that during the September meeting, members approved an additional 30 days to come forth with ideas and yet, no one did.
This action could have brought an immediate end to the opportunity just placed before the council.
At this point, the new extension office building and all it could bring to the community is up in the air.
There has been other possible locations brought to the future board since Monday’s meeting which is to be discussed in a meeting at 8:30 a.m. today.
Spencer County residents interested in attending the extension council meeting tomorrow should be at the extension office at 6 p.m. At this meeting, council members will discuss locations for this project; a project which is intended to be strictly for the people of Spencer County.
There were over 50 people in attendance at Monday’s meeting including Mayor Don Pay, County Judge Executive David Jenkins, several of the county magistrates, the members of the Economic Development Board, representatives of 4-H, Homemakers and more, besides members of the council. Some of the members reportedly have not attended meetings on a regular basis but were in attendance for this meeting.
Watch for continuing coverage in next weeks Spencer Magnet.