Conservation district seeks more funds from county

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - A year ago, the Bullitt County Conservation District was asking fiscal court members to increase their appropriation.

    In return, the agency could provide grant funds for programs such as junk pickup and dead animal removal.

    The court members denied raising the annual appropriation of $27,000.

    The conservation board could have asked to impose a millage tax on all property owners but the members didn’t.

    A year later, Bullitt Fiscal Court is discussing the same issue with conservation board members.

    And this time the budget committee took an hour to listen to some of the ways funding could help the county in the long run.

    Kim Bartley, a district representative, said the $27,000 funded by the county is really not enough to maintain an office and a staff member.

    She said the district has state funds that are available if it has the 25 percent local match. The limit is $10,000 for grants to assist with things such as recycling and dead animal removal.

    “We are at a crucial point,” said Bartley.

    Conservation board member Lewis Skidmore said he knows there had been no increase in county funding for the past six years. With the added funds, he said there are many more things, which could be done.

    Cindy Badder, the local district manager, said there wouldn’t be a conservation essay or poster contest this year due to the lack of funds. Basically, all programs have been shut down due to the financial situation.

    She agreed with the district could do with less than the $92,000 budgeted from fiscal court.

    If the fiscal court couldn’t increase the appropriation, Badder said the district could ask for the millage tax. The smallest possible amount would be .024 cents per $100.

    The environmental grants could be very helpful since the county would be paying just 25 percent of the cost.

    “It’s stuff Bullitt County needs,” Badder said of the grant money.

    If the county allowed the millage tax, it would have its $26,000 back into the general fund.

    “It’s a tax,” said budget committee member David Walker.

    He didn’t believe any tax would fly with the public so it would be best for the agency to plan on getting funds in another means.

    County attorney Walter Scholar said committee members, as well as fiscal court, could use some more information, such as the long-range plan, which is required to be done annually.

    “We’re not here to push a tax,” said Bartley. “But we have to have more than $26,000 a year.”

    Budget committee chairman Joe Laswell said the county would work with the conservation agency.

    “We’re going to work with you folks any way we can,” said Laswell.

    The chair said it would be taken back to fiscal court for further discussion.

    “There’s so many things we can bring to Bullitt County,” said Badder. “It’s stuff the entire county can benefit from.”

    The budget committee met on Wednesday, May 12. The next fiscal court meeting will be on Tuesday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited.