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Commissioners will vote on Extension Service contract, 4-H coordinator funding

On Tuesday, March 24, Washington County Commissioners will officially discuss the proposed elimination of the county's $131,000 services contract with University of Minnesota Extension Service. The contract pays for two 4-H coordinator positions in the county.

The proposed elimination is part of a series of cuts county staff has proposed to make up for a more than $3 million shortfall in its 2009 budget. The shortfall is the result of a loss in state aid to counties and a decrease in the county's various fee revenue sources.

Earlier this month the county board voted to eliminate 21 full-time staff positions from its 2009 budget, the majority of which were positions left vacant over the last several months during a hiring freeze. A series of other budget cuts are expected to be made to make up for the projected shortfall.

For the last several weeks, dozens of 4-H supporters have attended the weekly county board meetings to ask the county to continue to financially support the two 4-H coordinator positions that help organize 4-H activities in the county.