2016 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: O'Bannon
SWCD Admin and Operating Support

Item 364 #6h

Item 364 #6h

First Year - FY2017 Second Year - FY2018
Natural Resources
Department of Conservation and Recreation FY2017 $1,637,509 FY2018 $1,891,809 GF

Page 312, line 34, strike "$96,847,683" and insert "$98,485,192".
Page 312, line 34, strike "$35,138,883" and insert "$37,030,692".

Page 313, line 3, strike the first "$6,841,091" and insert "8,478,600".

Page 313, line 3, strike the second "$6,841,091" and insert "8,732,900".


(This amendment provides additional funding for soil and water conservation district operations and administration costs to meet the amounts identified as necessary in the 2015 District Needs Assessment. This includes funding for district administration and technical staff to address on-going technical assistance requests such as those for dam safety, stream bank stabilization, soil inventories, ponds, assistance to non-agricultural property owners, resource management plans, the conservation reserve enhancement program, engineering of livestock exclusion practices, the Agricultural Tax Credit Program, increasing need for public education and assistance, and to meet identified needs for district operations. As part of operations, it is also notable that district business infrastructure support for rent, salaries, vehicles, travel and training has not kept pace with needs.

Budget templates prepared by the 47 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in June 2015 showed an increased need of approximately $1.63 million to meet the essential operations of the districts in fiscal year 2017 and $1.89 million in fiscal year 2018. The Budget Template was initially developed in 2012 by a stakeholder advisory group that was tasked to examine funding needs for administration and operation of the districts as requested by the General Assembly. For three years Virginia's 47 SWCDs have completed these templates in order to better determine the state costs associated with operating the districts.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are the essential player at the local level to implement nonpoint source programs to accomplish water goals established by the General Assembly. To meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay and Southern Rivers Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL), districts must have adequate resources to educate, plan, design, and implement nonpoint source pollution control programs. Districts have proven to be the most cost effective means of accomplishing these water quality goals.

Without adequate funding, conservation districts continue to find it especially difficult to meet the critical needs to retain highly trainer, experienced and skilled employees who are the primary delivery mechanism for programs to meet the Commonwealth's water quality goals established by the Governor and the General Assembly.)