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Nye County gives cooperative extension big boost

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is set to see a big financial boost in the coming fiscal year, with Nye County approving the reinstatement of a tax rate to support the extension’s programs.

The allocation of funding was approved at a rate of 2 cents per $100 of property valuation, to come from Nye County property taxes. This could total up to $312,000 per year in subsidy from the county.

It was stressed during the Nye County Commission’s April 16 meeting that the reinstated funding does not constitute a new tax. Rather, the monies for the cooperative extension will come out of the revenue from county property taxes received under the current tax rate.

The cooperative extension had previously received a subsidy from the county at a rate of 1.5 cents per $100 property valuation. However, that was reduced in fiscal year 2016 to just 1 cent and then eliminated altogether in fiscal year 2017.

The subsidy was terminated due to issues with the county budget and a lack of adequate funding. Now, however, with Nye County recovering from its financial slump, officials felt able to reinstate the tax rate. Cooperative extension members and representatives were obviously thrilled that their request for increased funding was met with unanimous approval.

Professor M.L. Robinson of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension was on hand during the April 16 meeting to detail for the commission what the requested funding would be used for.

He explained that plans included hiring full-time educational officers in both Pahrump and Tonopah and hiring a part-time administrator, as well as expansion of the organization’s reach throughout all of Nye County.

Member of the cooperative extension’s 4-H Club also took time that morning to describe the positive impact that 4H and its associated programs can have on the lives of those who participate.

“I’d like to share just a couple of the opportunities that 4-H has opened up for me,” youth Garrette Domina told commissioners. “I am looking forward to another state sports shooting competition. Last year I won blue ribbons for both shotgun and archery and I hope to compete this year in .22, black powder, shotgun and archery.

“I have attended 4-H camp twice and would like to be a camp counselor next year to help younger 4-H members feel comfortable and teach them things I have learned. I am blessed to be part of the 4-H family and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.”

Elaina Domina followed, adding her young voice to the discussion as well.

“There are so many wonderful things in 4-H, like our little free library for the community. Also our garden club has been busy planting in hopes of entering a pumpkin at the Fall Festival,” Elaina explained of her experiences.

“Our livestock club members… just won ribbons and a banner at the Clark County Fair. Now that I am old enough, I can start showing animals too. We are also looking forward to state competitions this year. We have two clubs that are going to compete. My hope is that 4H can continue to grow even more than we have in the past few years.”

Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman made the motion to approve at the 2 cent tax rate, which commissioner Donna Cox quickly seconded. Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo remarked that he felt that it was well worth it for the many programs that would be able to thrive because of the additional funding.

Nye County Manager Tim Sutton interjected to state that the cooperative extension had only requested a rate of 1 cent per $100 property valuation and the commission was proposing to double the amount requested.

Wichman explained that she wanted to approve the item at the 2 cent rate because the funding provided by the county would be matched by other funding sources.

Furthermore, Wichman remarked that when the county last provided a subsidy, that money only provided for a single educational officer who worked out of the Tonopah area but served the entire county. Therefore, the higher tax rate would allow for even greater service by funding two full-time coordinators.

The motion to approve passed with all in favor. As the members and representatives filed out of the meeting chambers, expressions of gratitude and delight were in prominent evidence while optimism for the cooperative extension’s future was in full flow.

For more information on the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension stop by the office at 1651 E. Calvada Boulevard or call 775-727-5532.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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