County Finance Committe Votes to Nix MSU Extension Reduction
08/21/2019- Recommendations for Menominee County’s upcoming budget go through some more fine tuning. The Finance Committee reviewed the 2019/2020 document Tuesday and discussed proposals by County Administrator Jason Carviou aimed and reducing the estimated $140000 structural deficit the county is facing. One cost-cutting measure Carviou suggested was to reduce the MSU Extension contract to the base assessment, a move that would ultimately lead to the 4-H director position being cut from full- to part-time. However, the committee agreed they wanted to see that decision reversed in order to, as Committee Member David Prestin says, preserve the opportunities available for local youth development.
“4-H is truly a program where any kid, regardless of economic background, can come in and actually learn, enjoy, and research area’s they’ve never been exposed to. The cost-benefit, in my mind, is not quantifiable, especially to the at-risk kids.”
An area of considerable concern in the budget is the county’s library system, which only brings in an estimated $60000 annually as compared to their $340000 in operational expenses. The committee was split on a vote to recommend county board reduce the library’s funding by $25000 and committee member Steve Gromala says the county should instead examine other ways to offset costs.
“One of the things we should be looking at- because I know there’s constantly questions being brought up within the City (of Menominee), that has its own library system- is if we should be actually looking at ways of consolidation that would benefit both sides.”
The Finance Committee also recommended the elimination of the 3-Way Road Program funding and to include money in the budget for a new sheriff’s department vehicle and the creation of an IT department. The proposed amendments will be brought to the County Board for further consideration and final approval.