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franklin county times
PHOTO BY LAUREN WESTER / Probate Judge Barry Moore (left) and Chris Ozbirn signed the contract for the $5,000 bicentennial grant that will be used to help fund the celebration.

Franklin receives grant for bicentennial

When Chris Ozbirn accepted the position as chairperson of the Franklin County Committee for Alabama’s Bicentennial Celebration, she said there was no official budget in place for the bicentennial. Ozbirn soon discovered the county could apply for a grant for the celebration through the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, and at the end of October the commission accepted her application and granted Franklin County $5,000 to use for the celebration.

At the Nov. 20 Franklin County Commission meeting, the commission formally accepted the grant.

“If everything goes the way I’m wanting it to, it’ll be a great celebration, and I hope it’ll make everybody proud,” Ozbirn said.

The grant agreement specifies that the funds must be used to “support, create and execute events and activities” for the bicentennial celebration, and it also gives guidelines for what the funds cannot be used for – like food, alcohol and purchasing land, for example.

Ozbirn said the committee already has in mind to use some of the money to pay for portable toilets for the Pioneer Day celebration, which will be held May 12, 2018.

“Just to rent one it’s $100, and we’ve asked for four,” she said.

Ozbirn said after all of the celebrations end in 2019, she has to send in a report to the bicentennial commission that details what all the money was used for and the receipts as proof.

“It’s a work in progress. There are bound to be things that pop up that aren’t planned for, but I have a committee of seven fabulous people. I couldn’t do all of this without them,” Ozbirn said.

The kickoff for the bicentennial celebration will be Feb. 6, 2018, at the Franklin County Archives building, where Ozbirn said they will place a historical marker and then host a reception.

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