5 appointed to Clinton County Legacy Fund’s grant-awarding committee

$500K up for grabs next year

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]

WILMINGTON — The five people who will select which applicants will receive grants from the money received from selling county-owned Clinton Memorial Hospital were appointed Wednesday.

These appointed members of the Clinton County Legacy Fund committee will decide on grants that are intended to benefit the local community and its residents.

The five appointees are Air Transport Services Group CEO Joe Hete, Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty, former Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC) Supt. Tony Long, Michelle Morrison who has served as Port William mayor and with the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (RPC), and insurance professional Kent Vandervort.

It’s expected they will award the first Legacy Fund grants in 2020, with up to approximately $500,000 available for grant awards next year. The annual amount of grants will be limited to 5 percent of Legacy Fund principal.

In the coming weeks, Clinton County commissioners will develop a spending plan or policy for the Legacy Fund grants. This plan will provide guidance to the committee regarding the process of awarding grant money, and possibly even list criteria to score or judge grant applications.

After Wednesday’s vote to appoint committee members, Clinton County Commissioners President Brenda K. Woods said it is an excellent group of individuals who are going to serve in the capacity and she looks forward to great things happening in the future.

Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said the five people are a committed group of community members who are going to serve the Legacy Fund well.

And Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty commented about the suitable skill sets and diverse geography found among the committee members.

“That way people know that it’s in good hands, and secondly, it’s important all the county know it’s going to be represented fairly. I really look forward to all the good things this is going to do,” said McCarty.

McCarty went on to say Hete has been involved in finance, strategic planning, and vision; Long been involved at the ESC in strategic vision and foresight and understands youth and school issues; Morrison is experienced in village governance and the RPC; and Vandervort has a background in the complexities of insurance.

As for background, the makeup of the committee was an issue commissioners differed on in 2018 when then-Commissioner Patrick Haley strongly favored making it a requirement that the three county commissioners fill three seats on the five-person committee.

But in January 2019, the current commissioners agreed to make commissioners’ membership on the selection committee optional.

The term LEGACY in Clinton County Legacy Fund can be taken as an acronym that stands for Local Endowment for Governments And Charities for Years.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

$500K up for grabs next year

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]