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Whelan credited extension council representative Alec Fodge with pushing the project forward to make a dream a reality. Fodge, an MU graduate and Monroe County beef producer, is head of the extension council’s building committee. “This building will help to ensure the longevity and outreach for the University of Missouri in Monroe County,” Fodge said. “Faculty and staff with specialties in nutrition, livestock, agriculture, horticulture, small business development and 4-H provide programs and guidance with long-reaching, positive impact to the members of our community.”
The ARPA funds will cover the costs of a walkout basement for the 24-by-60-foot metal-sided building. The county council raised a third of the building funds through donations and grants. Estimated cost is about $200,000, with completion expected in May.
The site, at 229 N. Washington St. in Paris, sits close to the county courthouse, city post office, senior citizens center, health department and community action center, said Michael Krauch, MU Extension northeast regional director. The location will give county residents better access to the many services offered by MU Extension and provide a safe shelter for the county’s residents during extreme weather, he said.
Contractor Jordan Davis of Monroe City poured the basement. Jake Strayhorn of Shelbina is general contractor for building’s main level. Crigler’s Heating and Cooling of Paris will perform heating and cooling work. Bob Mitchell of Mitchell Electric of Paris is providing wiring services.
A “Raise the Roof” fundraiser banquet was held Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Madison Community Center, 115 S. Main St., Madison. Interim Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Chad Higgins will be the guest speaker.
The Monroe County University of Missouri Extension Council is chaired by Shelby DeOrnellis. Other elected council members include Shirley Ensor, Bill Coleman and Sarah Secrease. Appointed members are Ethan McNeill, agriculture representative; Wendy Beard, business and community representative; Margaret Wilkerson, treasurer and human environment representative; Bob Mitchell, 4-H youth development representative; Tracy Huffman, secretary and City of Paris representative; Kim Mitchell, secretary and MFA representative; and Alec Fodge, Farm Bureau representative.