Brown opposes funding by county of feds’ office change

A federally-funded program providing nutritional aid to low-income families in Fayette County has outgrown its shared space with the Fayette County Health Department.

But Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown contends the county should not be donating an estimated “less than $5,000 in labor” to aid in relocating the local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office to county-owned property on Lee Street in Fayetteville.

Doing so will require the donation of less than $5,000 in county labor to pave a parking lot, add a sidewalk and a handicap ramp for the modular facility that is being moved here, according to Fayette County Manager Jack Krakeel. The state is paying for all the necessary materials for the project, Krakeel has said.

Brown has taken a stance the county shouldn’t pay one cent to shoulder a burden that should be paid for at the federal level.

In an email to his fellow county commissioners recently, Brown argued that the county “should not be voluntarily subsidizing federal government programs with county tax dollars.”

Brown is fighting an uphill battle on the matter, however, as the relocation has been approved informally by the five-member commission, and a vote will occur in the near future on a lease between the WIC program and the county.

Fayette County Commissioner Allen McCarty joins Brown in opposing the county funding for relocating the local WIC office.

The modular building that is being relocated for the WIC program is less than a year old and is reportedly in very good condition, county officials have said.

The WIC program, in addition to its nutritional benefits, also has an impact on the bottom line of Fayette businesses. In online data from 2007, some $805,000 in food vouchers were issued to Fayette residents. It is not clear how much of those vouchers were spent at Fayette businesses.

Fayette’s WIC program is not just limited to Fayette residents, as it serves other clients who live outside of Fayette County, officials have said.

To qualify for WIC, families must meet income guidelines based on the size of the household. For example, a family of four making no more than $41,348 a year or a family of three making no more than $34,281 a year.

suggarfoot's picture
Joined: 10/10/2007
Brown and McCarty are right

The fed should pay for the fed projects.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Joined: 12/02/2009

This funding out of the general fund and the site is a prime piece of county property.

What the article fails to mention is that the county will be responsible for the upkeep of the lot, parking lot and structure in perpetuity.

You are paying for the cost of services twice: federal taxes and county taxes.

I have nothing against the WIC program offering, but I am totally against voluntarily subsidizing the federal government's programs.

BHH's picture
Joined: 02/11/2011
This is an interesting issue.

The county should cooperate with state and federal programs that help our community.

And this is not like dollars out of the general fund , but the value of man hours and probably equipment hours.

It is definitely cost effective and timely for the county to do the work.

But an argument for federal reimbursement seems valid and warranted.

If not, then maybe we can make it up elsewhere when cooperation is needed from the federal and/or state governments.

It's probably a good faith building investment.

moelarrycurly's picture
Joined: 10/17/2010
5k of county tax money

why do the 3 stooges think this is a proper way to spend our county tax dollars

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