County hopes to help conservation district

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — County council hopes to be able to allocate additional funding to the Pickens County Soil and Water Conservation District.
During a budget discussion at council’s June 17 meeting, council chairman Roy Costner moved to allocate an additional $20,000 to the district.
“We do fund them at $3,000, but they operate on a shoestring budget,” he said. “I do believe that we have other opportunities to benefit the county as a part of that because of the facilities that they have.”
The district’s main priority is maintenance of seven dams, board of commissioners chair Amy Wilson told council members at a May budget work session.
“Without their protection and work on those dams that we have in the area, we could be in a world of hurt,” Costner said. “I appreciate all the work that they do.”
Councilman Trey Whitehurst asked if the funds would be taken out of reserves.
County administrator Gerald Wilson said county policy states reserves should be used for one-time costs. The district is asking for some operational costs, he said.
“This is not a one-time cost,” Whitehurst said. “If we do it one year, we’re pretty much saying we’re going to get involved in this thing. You can’t give someone an operational cost one year and then turn around the nextt year and say ‘You know what? We’re not going to do that this year.’ I think that’s setting them up for failure.”
Costner agreed.
“But I do believe that they are set up for failure right now,” he said. “Right now they can’t do all that they need to do to protect those

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