How is our Conservation District funded?
Conservation districts are funded through a variety of sources including local, state and federal granting agencies, as well as private sources. Districts work hard to secure funding that helps to implement their annual and long range plans of work (click here to view our plans). Districts also have the opportunity to propose a local funding option per RCW 89.08. For more information on this local funding click here.
The KCCD is primarily grant funded and averages approximately 20 open grants at any time. The grants are secured predominantly from state and federal sources such as the Washington State Conservation Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Ecology, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Bonneville Power Administration, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Over the last seven years, the state and federal grants have accounted for 94% of the revenue received.
The remaining revenue is from local and private sources, including the System of Rates & Charges, Kittitas County Public Works and private organizations (e.g. Puget Sound Energy). The System of Rates & Charges funding is used to secure many of the state and federal grants, so although these local funds are a small part of the overall revenue, they are critical to obtaining those grants.
KCCD’s expenses vary widely from year to year, although basic operating expenses (wages, office supplies, etc.) are relatively constant, usually varying by less than 5% per year. The professional services (primarily engineering & design) and cost share and construction expenses are where the large variations occur in the expenses. This is not unexpected, as cost share and construction projects are developed over the course of months or sometimes years. Implementation occurs when the funding, the design, and permits are all in place. For example, in 2014 more than $1 million in cost share payments were made to 54 landowners and $2.5 million was paid to construction contractor on four separate projects. In 2017, $426,050 was provided in cost share payments to 35 landowners, and $337,800 was paid to construction contractors on three projects. That variation from year to year is simply a result of project readiness and funding availability.
Annual expenditures of federal funds in excess of $750,000 require a single federal audit to be conducted by the Washington State Auditor’s office. Audit reports may be found on the State Auditors website (click here).