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|WGIL EXCLUSIVE: Could Warren County be the Home of the Consolidated Area Extension Office?
|A newly formed committee is recommending Monmouth house the soon-to-be consolidated University of Illinois Extension Unit for Knox, Warren, Henderson, and McDonough Counties.
The vote of the advisory council last night was six-to-two to house the new office at the Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau Building in Monmouth. Extension offices are being forced to combine statewide due to budget cuts
The only two members of the board against locating in Monmouth were the two Knox County members. One -- Claudia Emken -- says one consideration the rest of the board had wasn't in her or fellow Knox County member David Erickson's minds.
"I'm not concerned about making it a geographic center as much as what the facilities that we have right now; how do they fit with what we need for staffing and meetings, etc."
Emken and Erickson both felt that the current Knox County extension office would be the best in terms of size, while the remaining six preferred Monmouth for its more central location.
The committee recommended that the three remaining counties each have a satellite office.
The recommendations go to the the University of Illinois Extension headquarters, which is expected to make the final decision early next year.
WGIL was the only media outlet to cover Tuesday night's meeting.
(Al Kulczewski, standing, Unit Leader for Warren-Henderson-Mercer University of Illinois Extension, gives a presentation on the Warren and Henderson county meetings during Tuesday's first meeting of the Knox-Warren-Henderson-McDonough Extension Advisory Committee meeting. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
(A map of the to-be-consolidated U of I Extension Units. Graphic from University of Illinois.)
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