The Muskingum County Soil and Water Conservation District proposed their upcoming year’s budget request to Muskingum County Commissioners on Monday.
District Program Administrator Ryan Fink said last year they received $180,000 from the commissioners- only about 60% of their operational funding.
"Unfortunately over the past year we have down sized two full time staff members, that’s over 25% of our office staff," explained Fink. "That was just a strictly budgetary decision that had to be made ."
Fink emphasized the value of the Soil and Water District to the community, explaining that their personal interest in the county and knowledge on shale drilling could help refuel the local economy.
"We do have state representation and they are discussing partnering with the State Oil and Gas with the Soil and Water Districts to offer some technical assistance with the shale as it comes from the east and heads west into Ohio," said Fink.
Fink requested just more than $190,000 from commissioners for this year. He said although that’s more than what they received last year it’s significantly less than what they had previously requested.