MO SOIL & WATER COMMISSION
MO ASSOCIATION OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
Monday, November 27, 2006, 10:00 a.m.
Introductions were made around the table. In attendance were the Soil and Water Commission, the MASWCD Board, DNR Program Staff, Mike Wells of DNR, Roger Hansen of NRCS, Brad McCord of MDC, Dave Baker of University Extension, Dan Engemann of MO Department of Agriculture, Tim Dugan representing the Attorney General’s Office, and a few soil and water district representatives.
Steve Oetting and Liz Brown welcomed everyone and explained the purpose of the joint meeting.
Noland Farmer gave a report on the Cost-Share Program for FY-07 through November 21. Actual claims are close to projections and ahead of last year at this time. He then gave an overview of the Cost-Share Program evaluation for FY-2006. He stated these figures were cost-share only, no SALT funds. For FY-06 $20.8 million was claimed through 5803 claims with an average cost per claim of $3575. Approximately 94,000 acres of land were treated in FY-05 and FY-06. He compared the claim figures for FY-06 to FY-05. Noland then went on to compare the number of practices completed by practice and the percent of funds spent by practice, and a comparison of FY-05 and FY-06 numbers. Over the past 6 years, 67-68% of the cost-share funds went to ponds and terraces
Kenny Struemph gave a report on the SALT AgNPS program. He showed a map with the locations of the current and completed SALT projects. There are 66 active projects and 13 completed projects. In the new call for projects, 14 proposals were received. 9 of these come from Districts that have had a SALT AgNPS project already. There is approximately $6.5 million to approve for these projects, the number approved will depend on the total cost of all the proposals. In FY-2006, 66% of the funds were spent on cost-share 30% on personnel and 4% on administration. He presented a chart showing the percentages by cost-share practice. 46% was spend on erosion control practices, 6% on pasture/hayland practices with the remaining on other such as nutrient management, pest management, buffers, irrigation, and animal waste. Kenny also reported on the recent enhancements to the SALT Program which includes training for new proposals on completing the final application, nutrient management training, requiring a landowner meeting, development of forestry practices, and management strategy procedures.
Jim Boschert gave a report on the District Assistance grants. There was $8,1430,032 available in FY-06 with 36% going to management, 27% for technical, 6% for administrative, 7% matching grant, 3% for info/ed grants, and 21% for the employee benefit grant. He reported that over-obligating in the matching grant funds allows a higher percentage of the funds to be claimed. In the matching grant funds, 33% were for technical funds, 27% for management funds, 15% for district operations and information/education, 10% for machinery, 6% for field equipment, 2% for office equipment, 1% for information/education specialist, and 6% unclaimed. This totals 84% used for personnel, 10% for other and 6% unused. Jim stated that the actual costs for the benefit funds have come in less than projected. For FY07 there are 312 district employees with 253 using health benefit funds and 298 using the retirement funds. The average paid for health benefits is $3536 and the average retirement paid is $1075. 59 employees did not accept the health insurance benefit more than likely due to having coverage through a spouse’s employer. In the Information/Education grants, 73 districts have used the funds set aside for security background checks. 42 districts have submitted proposals for $161,722 in FY07. 43 proposals for $171,605 were submitted in FY06.
Jim Plassmeyer reported on the District financial information for FY06. He stated this information comes from the year-end reports submitted by the Districts. A total of $12,892,254 income for FY06 with 76% state funds, 19% local funds, and 5% federal funds. The local income comes from machine rental and sales income mostly. The income from donations and county commission funds decreased. The total expenses for FY06 were $13,053,030 with 76% employee related, 6% equipment, 3% information/education, and 15% other. $9,834,799 were employee related expenses with 73% for gross salaries and 27% other salary expenses. The increases were due largely to the benefit grant funds. Since FY94 the income for Districts has increased 54% and the expenses have increased 62%. He presented maps showing the financial growth of districts, 59 districts had more expenses than income. There was also a map showing the percent of income from state funds with 29 Districts having 90% or more income from state funds, and 5 Districts having 49% or less income from state funds. The year-end carry-over information showed 11 Districts with over $100,000 and 10 Districts with less than $9,999. The average year-end carry-over was $48,794.
Roger Hansen gave a FY06 program review. The total allocations for NRCS for FY06 were $103,444,152 with $42,969,813 technical, $60,474,339 financial. Just under $43 million was used for salaries and assistance. Missouri leads the country in CRP payments. In FY06 NRCS had 456 staff years, for FY07 this is projected to be 428. The projected number may be optimistic depending on the budget Congress passes. He presented charts showing financial assistance for FY02-FY06 by program. Also information for EQIP percentage and dollars by type was given. 113 counties had EQIP contracts in FY06. WHIP had 68 contracts, 43 agreements for Grassland Reserve and WRP had 790 total contracts on more than 115,000 acres. There are 9 30-year easements. 234 applications were not funded. Steve Oetting complimented Roger on the tremendous job he has done.
Bill Wilson reviewed the training for the Supervisor Training Conference and the theme. As of close of business Wednesday, there were 690 pre-registered. The MOSWIMS workshops have been cancelled.
Steve Oetting and Commissioner Liz Brown both expressed their appreciation for everyone’s efforts in the sales tax renewal.
Joint meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. with the Commission and MASWCD both continuing in separate meetings at 1:00 p.m.