Swift County makes deep cuts to Youth Program’s budget

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Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about a proposal to eliminate or substantially reduce the expenditures associated with the Swift County program. This story focuses on the reasons why the elimination or significant reduction of the program was proposed. Next week we will publish a story on the testimony at the meeting.

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at their meeting July 1 to slash the county Youth Programs budget from $100,000 to $30,000 and put it under the Human Services department.
It was a move that Youth Programs Coordinator Brenda Semler only found out about a couple weeks ago and came as a complete surprise to her.
It could have been worse for the program. As the meeting got underway, one of the options on the table was to eliminate the program entirely by Aug. 22.
“I have been baffled by how this came about so fast,” Semler said to commissioners. “What was that? Personally, I was devastated by it. Why was the push so fast and so hard?”
Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton replied that there was no easy answer to that question.




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