4-H program worth cost

It’s a shame Fulton County legislators plan to end funding for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties when the year ends.

The supervisors should take another look and see if the county can come up with the money to at least continue funding the 4-H program in 2014.

Fulton County’s current three-year contract with the association authorized in December 2010 provided the extension $80,000 for 2011, $60,000 for 2012, and an amount submitted by the extension for reimbursement to solely administer the Fulton County 4-H program. That amount wound up being $65,922.

In 2010, supervisors indicated they were scaling down their payments to the now-Canajoharie-based extension as part of several cuts to agencies for 2011.

At a meeting of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee last month, the committee approved a motion to follow the board’s action from 2010, which determined there would be “no consideration” given to Fulton County providing future funding to the extension beyond 2013. The same motion also included language stating the Finance Committee does not anticipate funding the extension for 2014 or beyond.

The committee reaffirmed what the board did in 2010, so the motion doesn’t require new full board approval, county officials said.

Supervisors should revisit the issue.

The county has an $89 million budget, which includes a $28.4 million tax levy. Officials are considering spending thousands of dollars on a highway study and other efforts, so obviously, the county has some money to work with.

Many Fulton County youths find value in 4-H. The 4-H program offers activities that support young people from elementary school through high school. It helps shape future leaders.

This is a program that merits county support.