At the second meeting of the Budget Committee held on April 23, 2014, the Committee approved a revised budget proposal. With 12 of 14 Committee members present, there were no dissenting votes when the presiding officer called for the vote.
The next opportunity to comment on the budget in person will be the public hearing to be held on May 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm in the District’s conference room. Please contact the District Manager if you would like to provide comment before May 20, 2014.
Following the public hearing, the District’s Board of Directors will consider adopting the budget at their regular meeting on May 20 at 4:00 pm.
Significant budget items
New fund created
The Working Lands Legacy Fund establishes support for the long-term protection of working lands (farms, fields, and forests) and the habitat associated with such lands.
New department created
The Land Management Department is where the District details the expenditures necessary for managing easements and lands held by the District.
Conservation Fund maintained
Implementation of conservation practices by and for landowners is funded out of the Conservation Fund. The District also provides partner support grants to various organizations that do work that helps advance the District’s mission and goals. The Conservation Fund has been a successful mechanism for setting aside and applying funds to on-the-ground conservation opportunities. The back page of our 2013 annual report shows how Conservation Fund dollars have been focused on the District’s conservation goals.
WeedWise Program expanded
The approved budget envisions the District hiring a third person for our successful WeedWise Program. Managing invasive species, coordinating resources across various organizations, and educating people about invaders is intensive, demanding work that continues to grow in scope and complexity. Working to control invasive weeds is a commitment the District made when a permanent tax base was sought, and we continue to fulfill that promise.
Tax levy increased to cover expanded services
The District currently levies 4.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The permanent tax limit approved by voters is 5 cents per $1,000. For the FY 2014-2015 budget as approved by the Budget Committee, the District anticipates imposing a 5 cents per $1,000 tax levy. The difference between a 4.9-cent levy and a 5-cent levy is projected to be $38,252, just enough to fund an additional WeedWise Program person.
Following approval of the budget by the Budget Committee, the District’s Board of Directors holds a budget hearing on the budget as approved by the Committee. Any person may comment on the approved budget at the hearing.
After the hearing, the Board of Directors can change the budget estimates and the tax levy approved by the Budget Committee. However, if the Board increases the tax by any amount, or if the Board increases expenditures in any fund by 10% or more, the District must republish the amended budget summary and hold another budget hearing.
The deadline for the Board of Directors to enact a resolution that adopts the budget, makes appropriations, imposes tax levies, and categorizes each tax is June 30, 2014.