OSU Extension levy up for renewal

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — There will be a 0.5-mill tax renewal levy for five years to support OSU Extension in Morrow County on the November 6th election ballot.

Carol Holsinger, 4-H Advisor for the Clover Posse 4-H Club, talked about the value of 4-H and OSU Extension for Morrow County.

“Everybody thinks of 4-H when they think of Extension, but Extension is really all about education,” said Holsinger. “There is so much that comes to us from OSU Extension in Family and Consumer Science, food and nutrition, agriculture and gardening.”

“I always say that what kids do in 4-H is an extra credit in life.”

Becky Barker, 4-H Youth Development Educator for Morrow County, gave some of the history of the levy. She said it first went on the ballot when local funding was cut down to $6,250 for a budget of $174,000 in 2009. The cut was due to the financial crisis for Morrow County when the county commissioners had to make cuts to Extension and other departments.

In 2009 Morrow County voters passed the first levy supporting the OSU Extension programs and then renewed the levy again in 2014. The renewal for five years is up again this year.

The cost for a property owner is based on the 2018 appraisal of property. For this 0.5 levy homeowners would pay $15.50 per year, per property valued at $100,000. The levy will provide approximately $315,000 in funds to the Extension programs.

Barker emphasized that all the funds collected by the levy must go directly to, and be used by the Morrow County OSU Extension Agency. The funds do not go into the county’s general fund.

When asked what will happen if the levy does not pass, Barker said that Extension programs and 4-H would be eliminated, unless some other funds are made available in the county.

Because of an agreement between OSU Extension and county governments, the first support for county extension programs must come from the county before state and federal funds are made available in support for county extension programs.

Eddie Lou Meimer talked about the importance of OSU Extension at an Extension Advisory meeting. She said, “Extension is a part of our county history. My grandfather, James “Arthur” Vaughan was on the first Dairy Service Unit in the county. The Extension Committee would engage the tester for dairy farmers. We found our records that go back to 1925 and 1926.”

Meimer’s family has continued in support of Extension programs for four generations.

4-H Advisor, Betty May agreed.

“So many things in the county benefit from Extension. And there will be no 4-H activities outside the county or state activities. Our County Extension is the main lead on this education.”

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel