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.