Clare County Board Of Commissioners, Planning To Cut MSU Extension

A local county board of commissioners, planning to cut funding for their MSU Extension.

The Clare County board of commissioners needs to cut up to 900-thousand dollars from their budget.

The MSU Extension is first on their list of planned cuts to make up that.

The Clare County MSU Extension pays for the 4H program.

This morning, many of the children involved in 4H came to the county board meeting to make their case for the program.      

Commissioners say there are no easy decisions left for them in order to get the budget balanced.

“It’s a starting point, we knew that there would be some people that would oppose some of the cuts we made, and it’s cutting into the meat now. There just isn’t a lot of extra money anywhere,” says Jack Kleinhardt, Clare County Board of Commissioners.         

County Commissioners are looking at all non-mandated programs for ways to save money.

It’s not sitting well with those in Clare County who rely on the MSU Extension and its support of the 4H program.

“It’s such a good program I don’t want it to end, says Gianna Forster, a 4H Kid.

With the potential budget cut in Clare County, those involved in 4H are worried about its future.

“In order for us to be in the community, we have to have local funding and we receive that generally speaking through the county. Without our local funding from the county, we’re not able to have an office in this county, we’re not able to have a 4H program,” says Shari Spoelman, District Coordinator for MSU Extension.

The thought of losing 4H has many kids upset because it holds a special place in their hearts.

“This is something that my parents did when they were younger and this is something they helped me get into as I got older, and now as a potential parent in the future, I want my kids to be able to have that same opportunity I have now,” says Crysta Spivey, a 4H kid. 

The community has a love for the program.

“This is upsetting because you can see just by looking around the county fair, how important 4H is in this community,” says Spoelman.

The MSU extension and Clare County 4H can only hope that the board is able to find them some funds to keep going.

“All we can do is bind together as a family and keep this process going even if MSU Extension is cut, we can still come together as a family and make this fair happen for everyone. 

The next meeting will take place August 10, 2016.