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County approves funding for youth sports programs

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By Stephen Lega

The Marion County Fiscal Court has approved funding for the Marion County Middle School baseball team and for the local 4-H shooting sports program.

The court approved these requests during its April 7 meeting.

Jessica Bagwell, the coordinator for the 4-H Sure Shots, and members of the team made their request to the magistrates. The court agreed to provide $2,500 from the general fund.

The court regularly gives that amount to other youth sports programs for soccer, football, baseball and softball.

Darren Spalding, one of the middle school baseball coaches, made a request for $4,400 on behalf of that program. The team includes players from Lebanon and St. Charles middle schools.

Magistrate John Arthur Elder III asked how much funding the team received from the Marion County Board of Education.

Spalding said they didn't receive any funds from the school board this year. Last year, the school board covered the insurance for the middle school team, but it did not do so this year.

Spalding said he had not spoken to the board himself, but he has heard that Title IX is the reason they did not provide funding. In other words, in order to fund middle school baseball for boys, the board would also have to fund a similar program for girls.

The request for the middle school team was for $4,400.

The court approved $2,500 from the funds it set aside for middle school sports. Magistrates Elder, Larry Caldwell and Roger "Cotton" Smothers each agreed to give $500 from their community project funds. Magistrate Steve Masterson and Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly agreed to contribute $700 apiece from their funds.

That adds up to $5,400. Mattingly said after the meeting that the court had intended to fund the requested amount, and the discrepancy will likely be addressed at a later meeting.

In other county business:

- The court approved the proposed 2011-12 budget for the Marion County Judicial Center. The $3.89 million budget includes funding from state grants, agreements with other counties, the state and the federal governments to house their inmates, and other sources. As has been the case in recent years, the proposed judicial center budget does not include any funds from the fiscal court.

- The court approved its proposed county road spending plan for 2011-12.

The county has projected it will spend more than $1.2 million on county roads during the next fiscal year.

The roads included on the plan are Cowherd Lane (2.45 miles), Sportsmans Lake Road (2.13 miles), Popes Creek Road (two miles and 3.3 miles), Bald Knob Road (0.7 mile), Old Hickory Drive (0.36 mile), Spencer Hamilton Road (2.69 miles) Burkes Spring Road (0.86 mile), Arthur Mattingly Road (1.7 miles), George Beaven Road (1.09 miles), James Hunt Road (1.05 miles), Sallie Ray Pike (1.91 miles), East Moores Circle Road (0.95 mile), St. Matthews Cemetery Road (1.7 miles), Willis Trail Road (3.3 miles), Bob Curtis Road (0.84 miles), Kedron Road (one mile), Buffalo Road (1.71 miles), Dogwood, Willow and Red Oak Drives (0.38 miles), Rollertown Road (0.66 mile) and Craintown Road (1.18 miles).