Posted at: 12/05/2012 5:46 PM
Updated at: 12/05/2012 6:13 PM
By: Dan Conradt
(ABC 6 News) -- It's that time of year when cities and counties are fine-tuning their budgets for next year.
And when the Mower County Board asks the public what it thinks tomorrow night, supporters of one organization will be there.
The board went into budget discussions with the usual goal – “to try to bring in the levy as low as we could," said county coordinator Craig Oscarson.
And since mandated programs are just that – mandated:
"The finance committee took a hard look at what are the non-mandated programs in each department," Oscarson explained
The Crisis Nursery is one of those programs.
"Crisis Nursery is short-term emergency child care that's free for families who are in hardship," said Parenting Resource Center Director Maryanne Law.
For years the program was funded by the state. But when that money went away, the Hormel Foundation and the United Way stepped-in, with help from the county
“A very valuable $7,000 for the direct placement costs,” Law told us. “It's a minor amount, really, but it's very very significant for the program."
In the first ten months of this year, the Crisis Nursery has served 28 different families, and more than 40 different children.
But because it's is a non-mandated program:
"The finance committee decided not to fund it," Oscarson said.
"The county doesn't have to do it, but it also is a very effective use ... an investment of dollars in an early-intervention service," Law added.
And that’s the case the Crisis Nursery will have to make at the county's truth-in-taxation hearing on Thursday night:
"How do they fit with the county -- do they fit our mission, do they save us money long-term," said Oscarson.
“We believe it definitely fits the county mission," Maryanne Law added.
The Mower County Board’s truth-in-taxation hearing starts at six o’clock Thursday night at the courthouse in Austin.