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Conservation centerpiece of supervisors’ meeting
The agenda was short when the Washington County Board of Supervisors got together for their latest meeting Aug. 23. Most of the discussion surrounded the annual report of the Washington County Conservation Board for the last fiscal year.
Executive Director of Washington County Conservation Steven Anderson and Board Chairperson Craig Capps of Kalona spoke with the supervisors about the year that was and upcoming projects for the group.
The group collected $49,185 dollars in camping fees. Tent camping rates run $10, while camping with full electric and water is $16. They continuously check prices in the surrounding area to ensure they stay competitive with other local sites.
The department also brought in $112,376 from two separate timber sales they did over the course of the year.
The group also worked on numerous projects, including the expansion of the Mary Marr Lodge and Sarah’s Haven’s parking lot, building ten arches and two benches between Sep. 2014 and April 2016, and the planting of 862 trees and 30 gallons of mixed nuts along the Marr Park Trail in Ainsworth.
The major projects the group is looking to start concern the Kewash Trail area. The group is currently trying to get grant funds for a couple of different projects. “We applied for some TAP grants, which stands for Transportation Alternative Programs, and we ended up with the strong potential, it’s not quite finalized, that we are going to receive a $342,000 federal grant to do some projects out there,” Anderson stated.
They are hoping to be able to pave portions of the trail and maybe creating a trail from Kewash, past Willow Pond, and up to the Kirkwood Center.
The educational work done by the group also reached 11,192 people. 905 people visited the conservation center and over 700 subscribe to their quarterly newsletter.
“If I could say on behalf of the Conservation Board, we do enjoy working with the Board of Supervisors. Appreciate your support we’ve had over the last years and look forward to getting more opportunities to work together to enhance our park systems in Washington County,” stated Capps.
The supervisors also approved the hiring of Jayse Horning as a ranger technician. “I absolutely want to thank you folks for allowing us to create this position in our budgeting,” said Anderson.
Connie Larsen was appointed to the Washington County Board of Health.