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4-H funding plan in place

Washington County commissioners this morning finalized a plan to keep 4-H staffing in place through the end of the year, so long as they are given private funds to do so.

County board members approved a letter to the University of Minnesota asking that its contract with the university's Extension Service, which provides employees for the 4-H program, end Dec. 31.

Commissioners in March moved to terminate county funding of 4-H Youth Development staffing effective Sept. 15, but a volunteer organization says it has collected enough money to keep 4-H staffing through 2009.

The Washington County 4-H Federation is pledging to cover the cost of a full-time 4-H program coordinator and a part-time support staff position through Dec. 31. The federation will direct funds to the county, which in turn will pay the university.

Private funds and donations will be needed for 4-H staffing to remain in place next year, said Lowell Johnson, county public health director.

"If we're going to enter into a memorandum of agreement for 2010, we have to have that based on private funding rather than county funding," Johnson said.

See the Aug. 26 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for the full story.