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Commissioners consider joint extension district

Staff writer

Combining the K-State extension offices in Marion and McPherson counties under a new taxing district would increase services by providing more resources and more agents, Ricky Roberts says.

County commissioners of both counties are considering the proposal.

Marion has two agents and McPherson has three, for a total of five.

Family and consumer science agent Renae Riedy said McPherson has one agent dedicated to 4-H, which would free her up to do other things.

“Right now, we are spread pretty thin,” she said.

Roberts said combining the two extension services into one taxing district would benefit Marion County because McPherson County has a bigger tax base. The mill levy would be lower than what is required now to fund extension and would be applied equally to both counties, thereby providing more resources.

Riedy said a combined district would allow agents to specialize in specific areas.

“When we share resources, everybody wins,” Roberts said.

Both county commissions would have to approve and publish a resolution to allow the extension offices to move ahead.

This would be followed by an operational agreement between extension staffs, extension boards, and county commissioners.

The agreement would have to be approved by the Kansas attorney general’s office before the district could be formed.

Roberts hopes to have the district in place July 1 if all the steps fall into place.

Last modified Nov. 10, 2016

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