Water-Related News

Lee County budget woes could bring Cooperative Extension Cuts

By Valerie Alker

FORT MYERS – Lee County is cutting its budget in the face of a $30 million operating deficit.

One program that could be seriously downsized is the Cooperative Extension Service, which is a 91-year partnership with the county and the University of Florida.

Extension service officials will meet with county budget planners Friday to talk about the cuts.

The Lee County Extension Service is located in Terry Park near downtown Ft. Myers. Outside there are small gardens, including a butterfly garden.

Inside there’s a commercial kitchen where canning and food safety is taught. There are classrooms where agents teach the latest techniques in plant plant cultivation and fertilizer and pesticide application.

Agents and volunteers are available Monday through Friday to help home gardeners identify garden pests, but as part of the county’s plan to streamline services the building would be shuttered.