It might be time for a little give and take.

Jay County Economic Development Income Tax Advisory Committee on Wednesday voted to recommend county council and commissioners approve $50,000 to go to Jay County Fair Board for its planned holiday light display. The new venture for the fair board is slated to open at the fairgrounds in late November and run for about six weeks.

Certainly the fair board doesn’t just have $50,000 laying around to spend on Christmas lights to create a display it hopes will draw a large amount of visitors. So it needs some up-front help to get the project started.

That said, fair board member Deb Gillespie said at the meeting that the event is expected to generate $72,000 annually in revenue. That number may need to be adjusted given the EDIT advisory committee’s push to accept free-will donations rather than charging admission. Still, the hope is that it will bring in a significant amount of money.

So, rather than just making a $50,000 donation, could county commissioners and council offer a loan of sorts?

Here’s what we’re suggesting:

•Jay County Commissioners and Jay County Council provide the $50,000 in funding to Jay County Fair Board to purchase the lights to launch what we expect will be a well-attended annual event.

•Jay County Fair Board charges admission or accepts free-will donations, in addition to seeking sponsors for the event.

•A percentage of the proceeds or a flat amount — perhaps $5,000 per year, perhaps $10,000 — be returned to the county until the loan, or at least part of the loan, has been repaid.

Such a structure would give the fair board the funding it needs to get started. It would allow the fair board to keep the bulk of the proceeds to reinvest into the fairgrounds. And it would also replenish county EDIT dollars to be used for other projects. (That money could even be earmarked for similar initiatives, as the EDIT committee discussed the possibility that municipalities could make future requests for holiday lighting purchases.)

Over the last several years, county government has been approached regularly for donations to various projects. Virtually all of them are deserving. But money isn’t unlimited.

Since it expects to generate revenue, this project offers the county the opportunity to help a local organization, provide a benefit to the community and recoup at least some of the initial funding.

That seems like it would be a win for all involved. — R.C.