Boyle beginning campaign to fund Constitution Square endowment; EDP is first ask
Boyle County is preparing to launch a capital campaign for its Constitution Square endowment, and Judge-Executive Harold McKinney is looking to members of the Economic Development Partnership first for support.
McKinney recently told EDP members that the county will soon be raising money for the park’s designated endowment fund — an endowment that the public can contribute to in order to ensure money is available for future programming and upgrades.
When Boyle County took over ownership of Constitution Square from the state, McKinney said his goal was “that we never have to make a decision between building a road or mowing the lawn at Constitution Square.”
That goal is enabled by an endowment, which is a special kind of account designed to guarantee funding for something well into the future. An endowment has a principal or “corpus” of money that can be added to. None of the principal is spent, but the interest on that principal amount can be used.
The Boyle County Fiscal Court actually operates two endowments for Constitution Square — an “agency” fund that can only be given to by the fiscal court; and a “designated” fund that accepts donations from anyone.
McKinney said the agency fund had a balance of $211,000 on Dec. 31, 2016. The goal for that fund is $300,000-$350,000, which should hopefully provide the $12,000-$14,000 per year needed for maintenance of the park’s existing facilities.
“It doesn’t do anything for programming, it doesn’t do anything for long-term improvements or anything like that, hence the second fund and that’s the designated fund,” McKinney said. “There’s very little money in that fund right now but I will tell you every magistrate has committed to personally give money. I wrote the first check to that fund.”
McKinney said the county will soon begin fundraising for the designated fund, though a specific goal hasn’t been set.
“The goal for that fund is sort of an amorphous amount — it’s how far do you want to go with programming, how far do you want to go with management, expanding the park — do you want to put in heirloom trees down here at some point?” he said. “… But in the back of my mind, I think if we’ve got a total endowment of $1 million, we’re in pretty good shape down here.”
McKinney said he’ll be tapping members of the EDP to advise the county as it ramps up for the capital campaign.
“You can’t ask for money, you can’t request money if you don’t have a good working website where people can go and see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to give electronically. There’s all sorts of little things we’ve got to put in place.”
The county will be asking EDP members, many of whom have office space at Constitution Square, to contribute financially, as well.
“The bottom line is each of you at some point are going to get an opportunity individually to contribute to this fund,” McKinney said.
EDP Chairman Ben Nelson said the county has provided EDP members with “world-class facilities” at Constitution Square, which is considered the birthplace of Kentucky, where the state’s constitution was signed.
“We have probably the best partner offices in the state, if not the nation, in terms of hosting and entertaining,” Nelson said. “I want to plant the seed that as this endowment campaign gets legs, I personally will advocate very strongly that every one of the private partners that is benefiting from these facilities should be thinking about a thoughtful gift.”
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