The biggest appropriation change in the Crow Wing County budget was a $107,229 cut in funding to the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The cut eliminated county funding for the SWCD. The county expects to save $69,418 through the change. The county plans to hire an employee to work with dirt moving permits, the Wetland Conservation Act and the county's water plan. The county plans to set aside about $24,000 in order to contract work potentially with the SWCD.
Noting departments were tasked with looking at ways to save money, Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom asked Keith Pohl, SWCD district supervisor, what the SWCD was doing on that front.
Pohl said the proposed 2010 budget included reducing staff from four to three.
Nystrom asked about a county proposed SWCD move from its current space in Baxter to a county building on Laurel Street. County Administrator Tim Houle and Mark Liedl, land services director, said unofficially they learned the SWCD wasn't interested in the move. It was first proposed in 2008. Pohl said the SWCD was waiting for a memorandum of understanding from the county but the move wasn't out of the picture but he couldn't speak for the SWCD board.
The move could have cut the SWCD's lease cost in half, Houle said. Nystrom said the move also would meet one concern for the county in having all the services in one place for ease of residents.
Bob Becker, SWCD board supervisor, said SWCD board members understand the reasons behind the change and will be restructuring their services.
In another budget change, the board reduced funding by $30,000 for RSVP, noting an Otto Bremer Foundation grant of $30,000 filled the gap for 2010 and there would not be a service reduction for RSVP.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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