The budget message and proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) was released today to the Budget Committee by the District’s budget officer.
The Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District has grown substantially since receiving support from voters in 2006 to fund the District through a property tax levy. The District has grown from a staff of three with an annual budget of $140,000 to a staff of 12 and a budget of more than $3 million.
Stable funding has allowed the District to increase the quantity and quality of services delivered to Clackamas County residents, without a recent increase in staffing. We are helping more people, and we’re doing the things we promised voters we would do. We are investing more funds than ever before in on-the-ground conservation actions.
Audits of the District have been clean. Our internal control systems are functioning well, assuring the safety of public funds. The District has achieved a new level of transparency and accountability in the way it conducts business on behalf of the citizens of Clackamas County.
The combination of stable funding, dedicated professional staff, solid management, and a deeply engaged Board of Directors assures continued improvement in the services we provide.
Economic conditions impact the availability of large grants we could use to leverage local taxpayer dollars. We plan to continue seeking more stakeholder involvement and gathering data that demonstrates the effectiveness of conservation actions. These steps will enhance our future grant applications.
Last year, we simplified the way we describe anticipated expenditures. The District has three funds: the General Fund, the Conservation Fund, and the Building Reserve Fund. That simplified structure is retained in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. Expenditures from the Conservation Fund are categorized by expected benefit to natural resources, making the District’s conservation priorities more obvious.
The budget proposed for fiscal year 2013-2014 supports the continued improvement of service delivery to our customers, expanded involvement by stakeholders, and more efficient implementation of meaningful conservation actions. The budget shows what it costs to operate the District and what it costs to deliver services to our residents. It shows where we plan to invest funds in on-the-ground conservation actions, and it does so in a way that demonstrates our conservation priorities.
On behalf of the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, I’m pleased to present the budget proposed for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Tom Salzer, Budget Officer