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Conservation District keeps allowance

A 2014 allocation for the St. Joseph County Conservation District appears to be secured, as agency supporters successfully pleaded their case to county officials Monday.

The district was at risk of losing its annual $14,000 allowance after county commission members last week unveiled St. Joseph County’s proposed 2014 fiscal year budget.

Monday’s appeal included nearly an hour of discussion centering on the proposed budget and its ramifications on the Centreville-based conservation district.

Carol Higgins, chair of the five-member Conservation District Board, said the agency’s river cleanup annual tree-seedling, erosion-control education program Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assistance Program and duties related to the National Resources Conservation Service all hold equal weight in what the district provides St. Joseph County.

Sherman Township Supervisor Bruce Bart and a handful of other residents attended Monday’s session and indicated support for the agency, which earned the reprieve after an informal poll of county commissioners.

A public hearing on the county’s proposed 2014 budget takes place Nov. 19.