2011-11-17 / Local & State

Conservation Dist. Director Gives Monthly Update To Commissioners

Scott Alexander applauded for efforts at Conservation District
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Seleen Shives, head of the Fulton County Conservation District, sat down with the Fulton County commissioners this week to provide her monthly overview of services offered by the organization.

Shives pointed out several half-page ads have been placed in the “News” to help advertise the district’s Ag Outreach Initiative. The initiative is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Special Projects Program and is aimed at “informing the agricultural community about their regulatory obligations,” she said.

Shives noted feedback from the farming community has been “positive” to date. Furthermore, several farmers have visited the district’s McConnellsburg office to ask for assistance in meeting their obligations.

By the year 2016, the district must visit every agricultural operation within the county’s boundaries, she concluded.

In touching on the district’s Erosion and Sediment Control program, Shives reported a total of three complaints were investigated during September and October. Among those were a clearing and grubbing site in Union Township; an earth-moving complaint in Taylor; and a potential illegal stream culvert installed in Brush Creek. In addition, district employees met with engineers or plan designers for the Clair Miller subdivision project in Ayr Township.

According to Shives, under the category of watershed conservation the district has begun preparations for a proposal for stream restoration funding available through a partnership with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the nonprofit group American Rivers.

District employee Scott Alexander, who oversees watershed conservation matters, recently completed 10 years of service, Shives stated.

Alexander has reportedly brought in nearly $1 million in grant funding through the county as part of his duties. The largest of the allotments was $283,750 from a PA 319 Grant in 2007. The smallest grant received since 2001 and penned by Alexander was a Dominion Gas Mini-Grant totalling $2,400.

“Scott is a great asset to the district, the residents and the county,” she added.

In a follow-up meeting with county human services administrator Jean Snyder, the commissioners signed off on a first-quarter expenditure report for the Services for Children Office. The office expended $303,609 between July 1 and September 30, which represents 20 percent of its overall budget.

Snyder noted last year’s firstquarter expenses tallied only $277,276. The increase from one fiscal year to another was solely attributed to residential placements.

The commissioners also convened with Snyder, business manager Tim Stanton, county projects coordinator Karen Hann, EMA/911 Director Ruth Strait, Probation Chief Dan Miller and Bobby Snyder of the Robert Snyder Agency as members of the county Safety Committee.

Under the agenda item of old business, the Safety Committee heard from Stanton that work continues on the handicapped ramp and sidewalk improvements around the courthouse. Furthermore, Stanton indicated work on the interior courthouse staircase is being completed during the evening and weekend hours.

Stanton went on to discuss the maintenance department’s use of “green” all-natural chemicals during their duties. The chemicals come in concentrated form, are cheaper and are, of course, better for the environment.

Stanton and Snyder also discussed a worker’s compensation claim that was submitted last month by a county employee.

On hand for the commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday was commissioner-elect Rodney Mc- Cray.

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