Concerns for County Conservation District

Concerns about the potential demise of the St. Joseph County Conservation District were raised during Tuesday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners meeting.

In light of Monday’s 2014 budget work session, during which commissioners proposed not funding the conservation district, John Nelson addressed the five-member commission.

Nelson, vice-chair of the Conservation District Board, questioned why the district is also possibly being stripped of the seven annual river cleanup events and countywide irrigation assistance. If the budget is approved, the duties questioned by Nelson would fall to the county’s Parks and Recreation Department and MSU Extension office, respectively.

Commission Chairman John Dobberteen invited Nelson to attend an appeal session at 3 p.m. Monday at the courthouse.

Under the proposed budget, the $14,000 previously allocated to the district would go to the parks and recreation department to offset costs associated with the river cleanup.

The county’s 2014 fiscal year starts Jan. 1.

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