County board gives $10,000 to Vision 2020

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After saying no to Vision 2020’s first request for funding a little more than a year ago, county commissioners jumped on board Austin’s community betterment program Tuesday.

The board unanimously voted to appropriate $10,000 for Vision 2020 this year through the Development Corporation of Austin.

Last June, the board voted 3-2 against giving startup costs to Vision 2020. However, that was before the Hormel Foundation — a key supporter of Vision 2020 — gave the county $275,000 in April to go toward the new grandstand at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

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John Gray, assistant secretary-treasurer for the Hormel Foundation, said Foundation leaders hoped to work together with the county in the future, and the leaders hoped the county will support other projects like Vision 2020.

On June 11, Vision 2020’s Laura Helle and Geoff Baker updated the board on projects around Austin. County Board Chairman Jerry Reinartz spoke highly of Vision 2020, calling it an ambitious plan that has excited people in the community.

“I think, too, we should be a part of it,” he said on June 11.

Tuesday’s vote was unanimous, but not all commissioners basked it 100 percent. After the meeting, Commissioner Tony Bennett said he’d prefer if Vision 2020 and the new grandstand had been privately funded.