JOINT MEETING

MO SOIL & WATER COMMISSION

MO ASSOCIATION OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

Monday, November 26, 2007, 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, and soil and water district representatives.

Fred Feldmann and Liz Brown welcomed everyone and explained the purpose of the joint meeting.

Milton Barr gave a report on the financial trends from 1990 to 2007 and the programs tracked. Cost-share has been fairly flat at approximately $20 million. SALT has experienced steep growth. The total payments to landowners has experienced moderate growth overall. The funds to Districts has had strong growth. In looking at the percent of landowner payments and District payments compared to the total expenses, the trend has been as follows: In 1990 the total payments to landowners was 74%, payments to Districts was 18% and other expenses was 8%. In 2007 the total payments to landowners was 60%, payments to Districts was 26% and other expenses was 14%. Projected percentages for 2008 are—landowners 60%, Districts 28% and other 12%. The income is 95.5% from the sales tax and 4.5% from interest. There has been a strong growth in the fund with an annual average of approximately 4%. The average annual rate of inflation from 1990 to 2006 is 2.9%. It takes $1.60 in 2007 to buy $100 worth in 1990.

Kenny Struemph gave a report on the SALT AgNPS program. By 1995 there were 179 Traditional SALT Projects and 27 Earth Projects. The AgNPS SALT Program was introduced in 1998 with pilot projects. Based on information from the pilot projects, the Commission established a standard list of cost-share practices, 5-7 years in length and a maximum amount of $750,000. He showed a list of all the SALT practices – regular and AgNPS. There have been 89 AgNPS projects approved. There are 72 active projects and 16 completed projects with 1 project terminated early. In the new 9th call for projects, 12 districts have indicated interested in submitting a proposal. In FY-2007, 63% of the funds were spent on cost-share 34% on personnel and 3% on administration. Kenny also reported on the recent enhancements to the SALT Program which includes a new stream protection practice, increase in the nutrient management incentive, requiring a landowner meeting, development of forestry practices, and a stream stabilization research practice.

Ron Redden reported on the Cost-Share program trends from 1992 through 2007. 1992 was the first year the appropriation was $20 million. The claims have averaged $20.2 million. 1997 was the last year for the reserve fund. The number of practices have decreased steadily with 1998 being the last year over 4 million tons of soil was saved. The increase in cost-per-ton of soil saved correlates with the decrease in the number of practices. Ron showed a chart that included the percent of practices by type or practice per year for the years 1992 through 2007.

Noland Farmer gave a report on the Cost-Share Program for FY-07. He stated these figures were cost-share only, no SALT funds. For FY-07 $19.4 million was claimed through 5220 claims with an average cost per claim of $3712. Approximately 100,000 acres of land were treated in FY-07 compared to approximately 94,000 acres treated in FY-06. He compared the claim figures for FY-07 to FY-06. 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-06 and FY-07 numbers. Over the past 15 years, 65-73% of the cost-share funds went to ponds and terraces. Noland also gave a comparison of cost per ton of soil saved for the past 5 years.

Jim Boschert gave a report on the District Assistance grants. He reviewed the history of expansions in the District Assistance grant. In 1993 the District Assistance grant was $4,900,000 and for FY-08 the total for District Assistance will be $8,944,409. He gave a comparison of FY-97 compared to FY-07 figures. The non-personnel amount increased 11% over the 10-year period, the personnel amount increased 58%. Jim also gave a comparison of district employee salaries for FY-98 compared to FY-08. The FY-98 figures were from the research completed by Dr. Rikkoon of University of Missouri, and the FY-08 figures are from the salary ranges implemented this year. The number of district employees has not changed in the past 10 years, FY-98 there were 318 district positions and FY-08 there are 319. In FY-07 Districts spent 93% of the funds available in the District Assistance Grants. Jim presented a chart showing the percent spent by grant and comparison of FY-07 to FY-94. He also gave a breakdown of the percent usage for the Matching Grant funds in FY-07 with a comparison to FY-99. In FY-07, personnel use was 84%, other usage was 9% and 7% was unused. Information on the number of employees (including turnover) for FY-06 and FY-07 along with the number receiving health insurance benefit funds and the average amount paid for health insurance per employee. For FY-06 this average was $3536, and for FY-07 it was $3969. He also gave these same figures for the retirement funds, with the average retirement amount per employee ranging from $1075 in FY-06 to $1132 in FY-07.

Jim Plassmeyer reported on the District financial information for FY07. He stated this information comes from the year-end financial summary reports submitted by the Districts. A total of $13,202,191 income for FY07 with 74% state funds, 22% local funds, and 4% federal funds. The local income comes from machine rental and sales income mostly. He compared the local funds from FY-94 to FY-07. In FY-07, the machine rental has increased 7% from FY-06, and the sales increased 13.7%. Over all local funds have increased by 15.5% from

FY-06 to FY-07. This is thought to be due to grants for drill purchases. The total expenses for FY07 were $12,693,690 with 76% employee related, 6% equipment, 4% information/education, and 14% other. This is down slightly from FY-06. $9,789,101 was employee related expenses with 75% for gross salaries and 25% other salary expenses. He presented maps showing the financial growth of districts, 54 districts had more expenses than income. There was also a map showing the percent of income from state funds with 22 Districts having 90% or more income from state funds, and 7 Districts having 49% or less income from state funds. The year-end carry-over information showed 15 Districts with over $100,000 and 13 Districts with less than $9,999. The average year-end carry-over was $52,943. He estimates approximately 3% of these are unused state funds.

Fred Feldmann and Commissioner Liz Brown both expressed their appreciation for everyone’s attendance at the meeting.

Joint meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m. with the Commission and MASWCD both continuing in separate meetings at 1:00 p.m.

 

Attendees

Harry Robbins Sharon Gifford Dan Engemann Marie Iiams
Kenny Lovelace Steve Radcliff Baughn Meredith Beverly Dometrorch
Richard Fordyce Mike Wells Liz Brown Fred Feldmann
Leon Kreisler Kathryn Braden Bruce Biermann Dave Baker
Steve Oetting Brad McCord George Engelbach Roger Hansen
David Dix Bill Foster