RHINELANDER - Organizations across Oneida County receive support from the University of Wisconsin-Extension. County officials made a proposal to eliminate the extension office.
Employees from the University of Wisconsin-Extension Oneida County office met Wednesday with all organizations that they work with. Those organizations are advocating for Oneida County to continue funding the UW-Extension program to help continue their missions.
Three Lakes Community Foundation is using the Design Wisconsin Initiative, which is through UW-Extension, as an opportunity to rebuild after two devastating fires.
"After that happened, our board of directors had a lot of discussion about the future, and we felt that the community was at an inflection point and that we needed to look at the challenges that we're facing as opportunities," said Three Lakes Community Foundation Director John Stauner.
Another organization affected by the proposal to cut the UW-Extension program is the Oneida County Fair. According to Fair Coordinator Tom Barnett, eliminating the Extension program would be a disaster.
"The UW extension also runs the 4-H program and if the UW-Extension goes away, the 4-H program goes away, and without a 4-H program involved with the county fair, we cannot have a fair," said Barnett.
Officials want to cut the program to make other county employee wages more competitive with surrounding areas. The county has a need of $800,000.