Extension district established

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Allen and Neosho counties Extension services will be consolidated in a cooperative district that may increase to three counties. Allen County commissioners Tuesday approved a resolution to form the district. Neosho County commissioners did the same last week. Local Extension agents Kathy McEwen and Carla Nemecek told county commissioners Bourbon County was also interested in joining the district.
The district approach will permit more specialization by Extension agents in the two counties. Consolidation in other parts of Kansas has led to increases in activities and numbers of young people enrolled in 4-H programs. Some economies of scale also are expected.
The district will form on July 1, 2010, with an eight-member governing body — four from each county — appointed by commissioners of the counties. Thereafter, members will be elected by the public, with two members from each county elected to four-year terms in 2012. Half the board will be up for election every two years after that.
The district board will have power to set mill levies to finance the Extension district. A third of the district’s money will come from a local levy, a third from the state, 16-17 percent from federal funding and the remainder from fees and programs.
Extension districts were made possible by legislative action in 1991. Few were formed initially. Consolidation has gotten more attention in recent years because of sagging governmental funding.

BILL KING, director of Public Works, was directed to seek bids for repair work on the LaHarpe Senior Center, expected to cost less than $1,500. King said he had talked with three contractors and had a quote from one. Commissioners said they thought bidding the work was appropriate.