By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
GRAND MOUND —
New equipment and improving facilities are top priorities for the Clinton County Conservation Board as it begins budgeting for FY2014. Board members reviewed a preliminary budget for the upcoming fiscal year at a meeting this week.
“The biggest changes to the budget were in the area of new equipment and salaries,” Clinton County Conservation Director Walt Wickham said.
The board is requesting a total of $1,379,454, which is a $184,038 increase over the current fiscal year.
Most of the budget increase was under the new machinery line item totaling $173,000. The board is purchasing two skid loaders, two pickup trucks, a dump truck, a trencher attachment for skid loaders, a bat wing mower and a salt/sand spreader.
The board also requested that Park Officer Brad Taylor will now be paid from Conservation funds instead of Rock Creek Marina and Campground funds.
“Our reasoning for this is that the position is East District Ranger, not Rock Creek Ranger,” Wickham said. “His duties cover several parks and wildlife areas in the eastern half of the county.”
Staff upgrading from cell phones to smart phones led to an increase in the telephone budget, bringing it to $12,000. Postage also increased to $3,100 as the newsletter goes from four to six issues a year. Other increases include park development and park supplies for ADA compliance improvements for handicap playground equipment.