Clark County Council nixes conservation district fee

first_imgCiting costs to taxpayers and redundancies in service, the Clark County Council has for a second time voted down fees that a local conservation service said it needs to stay viable.At its Tuesday meeting, the council voted 4-1 to not support a measure that would charge most Clark County property owners $5 per parcel to support the Clark Conservation District over a 10-year period. Landowners with property designated as forestland would pay $2.96 annually under the proposal. The Clark Conservation District anticipated the fees would generate a net $700,000 that it would use to leverage grants for a total budget of around $1 million.The quasi-government agency, one of 45 in the state, was created during the Dust Bowl era. It provides help to farmers and other property owners on conservation projects and regulatory issues, as well as technical assistance and other services.Last year, the district unsuccessfully approached the council with a similar proposal that it said was needed to keep its doors open after grants that had previously sustained it dried up.During Tuesday’s meeting, Zorah Oppenheimer, the district’s interim manager, explained the district had seen an increase in demand for its services as the county’s population has grown. She also pointed to a report issued earlier this year that found the district is well run and a benefit to Clark County. But despite Oppenheimer’s efforts and an outpouring of public support, the council again voted down the fees.last_img