The Barton County Extension Council will be funded for 2014 at the level it requested, but the total it will receive from the county was less than it had asked for, the County Commission decided Monday morning.
The council had sought $204,250 in county support. Its total budget for 2014 comes to $277,300, but it receives around $73,000 from the Kansas State University Extension Service to help with salaries and other expenses.
However, after Commissioner Kenny Schremmer had moved to approve the budget request, Commission Chairman Don Cates brought up that for about six months during the last fiscal year, the Barton County Extension Council was short one agent. The money saved from that makes up the bulk of a $24,550 carry-over in council funds.
Cates suggested that reserve be put towards the total request. He proposed offering the council $180,000.
“This money does a lot of good throughout the whole county,” Schremmer said. It provides programs and training for youth and for adults, as well as services for everyone from farmers to gardeners.
“Since this is a farming community, this is a program that will be needed for a long, long time,” Schremmer said. “This is well-needed support.”
The county fair, which starts in earnest this week, is another beneficiary, Schremmer said. The Commission also funds the Barton County Fair Association for $24,000 annually.
Extension Family and Consumer Science Agent Donna Krug said the Commission shouldn’t look at using the carry-over money. The council has left-over funds each year, ranging from $3,000-12,000, which have nothing to do with extra salary funding from the KSU.
Nonetheless, Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said it is not unfair to look at using the reserves. Besides, the amended appropriation still funds the council at the level it wanted.
Schremmer’s motion for the $204,250 request died for a lack of second. A subsequent motion by Cates for the $180,000 passed with Schremmer voting against it.
By state statute, extension councils must present budget requests to their supporting county commissions by July 15 of each year.