CLEARFIELD –Clearfield County Conservation District Board of Directors on Thursday voted to allocating $20,000 toward its scholarship fund.
District Manager Willie Null reported that last year the state cut its allocation from the natural gas impact fees by 80 percent from the previous year.
“They slashed us pretty hard,” Null said.
But Null said he was able to put together a budget despite the reduced funds.
However, a couple of weeks ago the state allocated $26,042 in the natural gas impact fee money to the conservation district.
Null said he could rework the budget using the additional funds, or he recommended the conservation district allocate the money toward its scholarship program.
The conservation district funds annual scholarships for local students entering an environmental field in conservation, agriculture or forestry. Its scholarships are funded by the W.G. “Turk” Jones Memorial Trust Fund and the Claude Schickling Foundation. The amount the conservation district distributes is dependent on how well the stock market performs that year.
The problem with this is applicants have no way of knowing how much scholarship money they would be getting when they apply for the scholarships, Null said
Null said, not only would this give them more money for scholarships, but if they put $20,000 in an account it would allow the conservation district to set the scholarship amounts beforehand so the students know how much they are applying for.
The state would have to approve this use of the funds, but Null said state officials told him they usually do approve this type of funding.
Null also proposed using the remaining $6,042 in state allocation to hold two rain barrel workshops this year. Null said this too is an approved use for the funds.
The board voted to approve applying to the state to use $20,000 of the funds for the scholarship program and $6,042 for the rail barrel workshop program.
Null noted that the deadline to apply for scholarships this year is Feb. 27.
He said the rain barrel workshops would be held both in person and virtually and participants would receive a rain barrel upon completion.
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