FUNDING FOR GRANT COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT
PROCESS FOR ADOPTING A SYSTEM OF RATES &CHARGES
Why Are We Here and Whom Do We Serve?
The Grant County Conservation District is a locally-led special purpose district created in 1940 under Chapter 89.08 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). The purpose of the district is to assist landowners and tenants with natural resource conservation on the lands they manage. The District serves all of unincorporated Grant County as well as the cities of Quincy, Warden, Royal City, Moses Lake, aned Ephrata. All other incorporated cities are not included in the District’s service area. Any incorporated city may opt into or out of the District by resolution of their City Council at any time.
Why Rates and Charges?
Rates and Charges is described in RCW 89.08.405. A rate is a charge intended to recover the cost of public improvements, services, or programs, received by or available to properties in the District, or to pay for costs to mitigate negative impacts on natural resources from those properties i.e. protection of soil and water quality or habitat restoration. Under rates and charges, each eligible parcel is subject to a charge; there is a cap of $5 per parcel on eligible parcels and up to $0.10 per acre; and, rates cannot be increased without authorization from the State Legislature, the Grant County Conservation District Board of Supervisors, and the Board of County Commissioners.
Local Funding Provides Stability in Uncertain Times
Rates and Charges establishes a system of local funding for the Grant County Conservation District that will provide a much-needed level of stability for basic operations. The Grant County Conservation District Supervisors find this action necessary for the continued functional presence of a conservation district in Grant County. Without a mechanism to generate local funds to bridge significant gaps in traditional funding sources the Conservation District will find itself in a position to be unable to continue to provide the level of technical and financial resources necessary to meet the increasing demand for services that are tailored to meet the needs of landowners in Grant County.
Value of Local Funding to Our Area
For every $1 collected through Rates & Charges, the Grant County Conservation District has the potential to leverage $7 in private, local, state and federal grant funds that will be used to develop comprehensive resource management programs tailored to meet the needs of landowners in Grant County. These are dollars that will be spent right here, in Grant County.
Conservation District Effective – Efficient
The Grant County Conservation District has secured and administered millions of dollars of funding for projects that have had direct benefits to residents of Grant County
“Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance” provides support for comprehensive resource managerment (residential and on-farm).
“Moses Lake Clean Lake Project” funded conversion of thousands of acres of rill irrigation systems to center pivot irrigation systems resulting in major improvement to the water quality in Moses Lake.
“Ground Water Management Area” goal – study the aquifer systems that provide drinking water for all residents in Grant County and develop strategies and programs to protect our “Sole Source Aquifer” at the local level not by state and federally mandated control measures.
"Irrigation Water Management" cost shared with producers on 150,000 acres to improve application efficiency, reduce energy costs, improve crop quality, yield, and water quality.
"Wildlife Habitat" serve as a regional partner working to help conserve wildlife habitat, develop wildlife plans, provide technical assistance and cost share for wildlife projects.
"Livestock Facility Management" committed to providing technical and cost share assistance for livestock management on large and small scale operations. Work closely with producers on runoff control systems that protect water, soil, and air quality.
“Nutrient Management Plan Development” we are committed to providing technical and cost-share assistance for dairies and acting as a buffer between the regulating agencies and the producer in Grant County.
“On-Farm Energy Audits” by offering on-farm energy audits as part of the EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative.
“Soil Health Committee” we serve on the State Soil Health Committee and administer funds for the committee that offer grants to local organizations who advocate for the development of agricultural systems that promote soil health and long term sustainability.
Information Education - “Water on Wheels (WOW), Wheat Week, and Trout in the Classroom” provide hands on educational opportunities for kindergarten through 5th grade in public and private schools, throughout Grant County. Trout in the Classroom offers a unique opportunity to study the life cycle of trout by raising fish in the classroom and spending a day in the field releasing the fish. This experience raises the student’s awareness and knowledge and connects the students to environmental processes.
Moses Lake “Shoreline Restoration” the Conservation District provides technical and cost-share assistance to private landowners to develop site specific plans to protect Moses Lake Shorelines - this will prevent sedimentation, improve wildlife habitat, and provide a safe clean environment for all that use the lake for recreation.
Help Us Help You
Grant County Conservation District is primarily funded through state grants, targeted state funds, and services provided by local initiatives. All of these funding sources are considered soft money and can’t be relied on for meeting future basic operations obligations. Establishing a system of Rates & Charges will provide about twenty percent of the total annual budget of approximately $1.1 million. While 20% may not seem like much, these local funds are the crucial foundation necessary for basic operations and much needed seed money which is a crucial component for leveraging outside funding sources. Grant County Conservation District will use these local dollars to develop and implement programs to assist landowners with a wide range of voluntary conservation efforts. Some examples:
Moses Lake Conservation District Nursery
Coordination and facilitation of conservation programs and processes
Advanced water management systems
Nutrient Management Planning
Comprehensive Agricultural Energy Conservation Planning
Precision Agricultural systems to Improve soil health
Promote Irrigated direct seed systems for erosion control
Working with Private Industry on Field Trials to demonstrate new technologies
Promote use of cover crops for erosion control and soil building
Integrate Pollinator and Beneficial insect habitat in ag systems
Promote use of native plants in areas that are currently a weed management problem
Promoting and designing low-water use systems for residential landscaping
Improved water management systems to protect ground and surface water quality and quantity
Environmental regulation mediation
Develop and implement demonstration projects for habitat protection and enhancement
Conduct tours and field days highlighting precision agriculture systems at work
Implementing the Voluntary Stewardship Program demonstrating how locally driven conservation can and does protect critical areas
How Can You Support the Grant County Conservation District Local Funding Proposal?
There are several opportunities to voice support for the Grant County CD proposal for a system of rates and charges for this very important local funding. The best way would be to provide a signed and dated letter of support to the Grant County Conservation District, 1107 S Juniper Dr., Moses Lake, WA 98837.
WHAT IS "CONSERVATION" ON TAX STATEMENT
GCCD BOARD RESOLUTIONS
GRANT COUNTY PUBLIC HEARING
August 22, 2017, 10:00 AM
Grant County Commissioners
35 C Street
Ephrata, WA 98823
GCCD COMMUNITY MEETINGS
June 21, 2017, 10:00 AM
Coule City Fire Department
401 W Main St.
Coulee City, WA 99115
June 23, 2017, 10:00 AM
Moses Lake Fire Department
701 E 3rd Ave.
Moses Lake, WA 98837
June 23, 2017, 1:00 PM
Fire District 8
510 Government Road
Mattawa, WA 99349
GCCD PUBLIC HEARING
June 27, 2017, 7:00-8:00 PM
Grant County Public Works Dept.
124 Enterprise St.
Ephrata, WA 98823
RATE STUDY REPORT and ANALYSIS
PRESENTATION FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS