SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two Greene County Extension Council committees are going to meet during June to conduct important financial meetings designed to confirm the integrity of the council’s 2011 finances and to make plans for changes to the 2012 council budget.
Council members and some Extension staff will meet from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, June 11 for a brown bag review session of the 2012 Greene County Extension Budget. The meeting will be conducted by MU Extension staff and members of the Extension council’s budget committee.
“This meeting is not for 2013 budget planning. Rather it is an informational meeting for the remaining 2012 budget with discussion directed toward possible mid-year changes or cuts. The committee will be making recommendations to the council at the next monthly meeting on Monday, June 25,” said David Burton, country program director for Greene County Extension.
The audit committee will meet to conduct the annual audit of the council’s 2011 financial papers and the regional extension travel account. The audit will be led by Extension staff using a process provided by the University of Missouri. The audit will be conducted between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 21.
Pursuant to the Missouri Sunshine Law, the Greene County Extension Council will conduct these open committee meetings in the MU Extension conference at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center located at 2400 South Scenic Avenue, Springfield, Mo.
The Greene County Extension Center is maintained as a partnership between the Greene County Commission and the University of Missouri. In recent years, funding from the Greene County Commission has fallen far below the amount needed to maintain a local office even though the county office provided educational programs for over 25,000 people during 2011.
University of Missouri fully funds the salaries, benefits, training, and computer support, for the specialists headquartered in Greene County. County funds are used to pay administrative assistants and office expenses like the telephone, copies, office supplies and travel for specialists conducting programs in the county. For the 2012 budget year, Greene County reduced its funding of MU Extension to the state minimum of $10,000.
In 2009, the County allocated $95,000 to the publically elected Greene County Extension Council. The local office also generated about $25,000 as part of an annual office budget of $115,000, which was still a cut from previous years.
In 2010, the County Commission voted to allocate $27,000 to the local office as a savings measure and the local office began to draw heavily from reserve funds, even after making cuts. The Commission repeated the allocation of $27,000 (a 72% percent cut from previous years) with the 2011 budget also. The 2012 budget was a 90% cut to the amount requested by council.
By state law, every first class county funds an Extension office with a minimum of $10,000. That amount was set in 1961 and would be equal to $72,000 now if adjusted for inflation.
More information about the impact of the budget cut is available on the Greene County Extension website, http://extension.missouri.edu/greene.
For comments, questions or discussion contact the following:
Jay Chism, interim regional director, (417) 865-0707 or (417) 576-7051 [cell].
Carl Allison, Greene County Extension Council chair, (417) 886-2840 or (417) 894-8572 [cell].