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Cornell Extension ends furloughs

May 1, 2013

After a strong showing of support from individuals throughout Sullivan County to its emergency donation appeal, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County will reopen its office five days a week and bring staff back to work full-time on May 13. The board of directors’ executive committee voted on May 10 to end the furlough.

The decision to furlough employees had come in March, following a 20% cut in funding by the Sullivan County Legislature due to its financial challenges. That cut resulted in an over $83,000 reduction to the county’s contract for programs and was coupled with a federal cut of $33,000. In lieu of layoffs, the board required all CCE employees to take Fridays off without pay.

Over $10,000 in donations were received in two weeks. Combined with savings from the furlough and a staff member’s resignation, it is enough to bring services closer to normal. However, the CCE board is continuing to evaluate programs and will make additional cuts as needed throughout the year.

“We want to extend a sincere thank you to the public for helping us exceed our initial goal of $10,000 in generous donations,” said CCE Board President Joan Howard. “We’re not entirely out of the woods yet, but getting out of our emergency situation is the first step towards making up for the cuts. Now we are moving forward to ensure that we remain viable in the future.”