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Ada County Commission Fully Funds Conservation District After Dry Creek Snafu

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RYAN JOHNSON
  • Ryan Johnson
After a half-hour conversation Aug. 1, the path was paved for the Ada County Commission to fully fund the Ada Soil and Water Conservation District.

"They look forward to working with us, and we look forward to working with them," said ASWCD Board President Glen Edwards.

The conservation district landed in hot water with the Ada County Commission when Josie Erskine, a farmer and ASWCD district manager, voiced her personal concerns about a development in Dry Creek (which was ultimately approved by the commission) during a public meeting. In a later meeting, Ada County Commissioner Jim Tibbs took umbrage at her comments, which he presumed reflected the official position of ASWCD.

"They disagreed with us and they beat us up pretty bad, and quite frankly, I don't see where I'm going to support spending taxpayer dollars on an organization that doesn't support the county," he said.

County funding for the conservation district was withheld until Aug. 1, when the county commissioners and ASWCD board of directors met to clear the air. Edwards said the meeting was a chance for the district to explain in person to the commissioners that it has no official position on the Dry Creek Ranch project.

"There were some misunderstandings and conversations about that one commission meeting, and we got those misunderstandings straightened out," Edwards said.

The district will receive $45,000 from the county, as it has in years past, and those funds will be matched with $50,000 from the State of Idaho.


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