County to again fund Extension Service

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Funding will continue this year for the vacant directorship of the Warren County Extension Service, provided an occupant can be found.

Supervisors ratified an order Monday allowing $21,363 be paid to support the salary and benefits for the position, still sometimes called a county agent, left open since director John Coccaro retired July 1.

The post is an employee of Mississippi State University and the university’s Extension Service. Once funded, replacements must be proposed by one of the service’s four regional offices and approved by county governing boards, who fund part of the director’s total salary of about $50,000.

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Cuts to the Extension Service budget this year for salaries and equipment surpassed $1.4 million. Restructures have been discussed, including doing away with individual county directors in favor of groups of three or four counties with multiple agents for each function.

Warren County’s funding of the office was cut by 4.7 percent to $76,043 in the 2010-11 budget compared to last year, one that balanced spending and revenue estimates to build cash reserves.