SWCD requests the same in 2012

For its county portion of funding, the Auglaize Soil and Water Conservation District requested the same amount in 2012 that it received in 2011.
District Administrator Nancy Fisher explained they get a flat amount from the Auglaize County commissioners each year — in 2012 they are again requesting $139,653 — with the state providing a matching percentage.
“Last year it was 78 percent, sometimes its more, sometimes its less, we never know what we’re going to get until July,” Fisher said.
She typically estimates the state’s contribution at 60 percent, taking into account what the state tells her is a safe amount to budget and keeping it the state share a little on the low end in case they get less than anticipated.
Last year, budgeting 60 percent and receiving 78 percent allowed the department to have a carryover going into 2012.
Fisher said because of that, even though prices and costs have continued to increase a minimal amount, they didn’t have to ask for any more money for 2012.
“Fuel under supplies has gone up and we have remained down one technician staff wise from where we were three years ago,” Fisher said. “Most of the increases have been normal at minimal amounts. We haven’t had any decreases.”
She said at $155,000, the department’s single largest line item remains salaries and the related accounts, such as benefits and insurance.
The Auglaize SWCD employs four people and provides technical assistance with the Farm Bill and county ditch programs.
Fisher said they have budgeted $15,000 for a new vehicle in 2012, if finances allow, to replace one of the vehicles technicians use when they are out in the field.
“We try to update them every four to five years, but if the money’s not there we won’t update the vehicles,” Fisher said. “We aren’t having any major problems with them right now but one is seven years old. A lot of times we wait and see what amount the state is giving us.”
A portion of the amount commissioners give the SWCD is put toward the Grand Lake Wabash Alliance. The $3,000 is used to help fund a watershed coordinator and performance work for the alliance.