Section 2.5 County Budgets

(See also County Extension Act)

The Cooperative Extension refers, in part, to the cooperative funding of Extension by federal (USDA/NIFA), state (UMaine: The Land-Grant University of the State of Maine), and county (county commissioners) sources. County funds represent a portion of the Extension budget and are seen as a barometer of the support local people place on Extension education. County budgets are prepared, presented and funded annually by county commissioners. The executive committee of the county Extension association, the local partner in Extension operations, is responsible for preparing the calendar year budget, presenting the detailed budget for approval before its county Extension association annual meeting, and for submitting the approved budget request to its local board of county commissioners for inclusion in the total county budget request. (See also Partnership Roles and Responsibilities.)

The following policies should guide Extension staff members and county executive committees as they consider the county budget:

  • UMaine Extension will not increase its support of county operating costs.
  • The county Extension budget is the responsibility of the executive committee and not that of Extension staff members.
  • County funds should be managed according to Good Accounting Practice standards.

UMaine Extension faculty and professionals can best support the development of the county budget by clearly reporting program accomplishments and by assisting the executive committee as it decides amounts and strategies. County executive committee members and Extension staff members should be aware of the budgeting cycle(s) for their county (or counties) and adhere to notification and submission deadlines.

An annual financial report of receipts and expenditures from all sources is prepared by the county Extension association executive committee on a form that satisfies the county commissioners. The report is submitted to each board of county commissioners and the director of Extension for each fiscal year.

Closing County Extension Offices Due to Insufficient County Funding

In the event that insufficient or no county funding is available for the operation of a county Extension office, the office will close once county funds have been exhausted.

County-based Extension programs will cease. Closing of an office due to insufficient county funding eliminates the local base of support and contact for Extension programs. The county office is essential for residents to benefit from personal contact with the Extension experts assigned to that county.

Extension publications from UMaine Extension would remain available to all Maine residents via the internet.

In the event of an office closing, UMaine Extension staff transfers and terminations will occur according to the appropriate university collective bargaining agreements. Consult the contracts for exact working and implications.