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Conservation District receives Award of Appreciation

July 23, 2012

Photo by Gian DeLoia – The Elk County Conservation District was recognized for its 50 years of service during a conference held in Scranton. Shown, front row, from left, Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine, Secretary Diane Myers and Ron McMinn; back row, from left, Michael Hovatter, Chairman Russ Braun, Vice Chairman Joe Labant, District Manager Steve Putt, Elk County Commissioner Janis Kemmer, Randy Gradizzi and Jerry Olson.

The Elk County Conservation District was recognized for its 50 years of service during a two-day annual joint conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts and the State Conservation Commission.
District Manager Steve Putt reported attending a conference held in Scranton on July 9 and 10 to accept the Award of Appreciation.
"At the conference they recognized a few districts including us," Putt said. "This is our 50th anniversary so they gave us this certificate to honor those 50 years."
Putt said he was also recognized for his 10-plus years of service with conservation districts.
"They also honored staff that had 10, 20, 30 and there were a few with 40 years of service, I got a nice little lapel pin," Putt said. "There were five or six individuals who had 40-plus years of service to the conservation districts and that was pretty impressive."
Putt also noted that during the conference a funding request was approved from the Department of Environmental Protection and the State Conservation Commission for an Erosion and Sediment Control Technician for the district.
"We were awarded that funding which will basically be one-half a technician position for up to $16,500," Putt said. "So we have that half. I originally looked at the other half coming from the agricultural program but unfortunately the [agriculture] program budget got hit pretty hard this year again so they are not funding any new positions. They are just trying to maintain the positions that already exist. There won't be that opportunity to get that funding from the [agriculture] side of things."
Putt noted that they cannot afford to fund the other half of the position and will have to find a way to fund the remaining half.
"At this point we still have to come up with the other half of the funding if we want to bring somebody else onboard," Putt said.
Chairman Russ Braun suggested meeting with the Elk County Board of Commissioners to discuss funding issues.

Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, July 24, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.

Next meeting
Elk County
Conservation District
Monday, Aug. 27
6 p.m.
Courthouse Annex,
Conference Room No. 2

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