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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Water to be focus of grant

  • During Wednesday's meeting of the Wayne County Conservation District, Jamie Knecht, Watershed specialist, talked about a DEP EE Grant that the Conservation Partnership is trying to get for 2013.
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    HONESDALE-During Wednesday's meeting of the Wayne County Conservation District, Jamie Knecht, Watershed specialist, talked about a DEP EE Grant that the Conservation Partnership is trying to get for 2013.
    “We would like to educate students in our local high schools about water re-use, stormwater, watersheds, etc.,” said Knecht. “The kids would paint rain barrels that we would supply through grant funding. After the barrels are painted they would remain on display in the school for a short period of time, then they would be displayed at local participating businesses in Wayne and Pike counties.”
    She said the conservation district is applying for a grant worth $7,500. High school art students would paint the barrels.
    “In addition to displaying the rain barrel there would also be rack cards advertising the partnership's upcoming events for the year with the barrels,” she said. “Finally, at the Wayne-Pike Earth Day Festival, the rain barrels would be auctioned off and the proceeds would be given back to the schools that painted the barrels.”
    She added that the work for this would be carried out in the 2013/14 years if they get the funding from DEP in the 2013 grant round.
    So far Western Wayne and Honesdale High Schools are interested in the program.
    Floodplain Monitoring
    Knecht also touched on the floodplain monitoring program.
    “It's moving along nicely,” she stated. “We have 13 of 28 ordinances in our office for review right now. The first ones will be going to the state this week.”
    She said they will continue working with townships to make sure that they get their ordinances adopted by the required date of May 16, 2013.
    Unconventional gas well fund
    Peter Tarby, DEP Waterways and Wetlands, said that the first block grant distributions will soon be done by the PUC and given to the county conservation districts as follows: $18,939.39 for 2011; $37,878.79 for 2012; and $56,818.18 for 2013.
    Monies for 2011 will be distributed retroactively. Block grants are one half of the total revenue dedicated to conservation districts. The rest is distributed based on six conditions relating to the impacts in a particular county.
    “About 60 percent of the second half of the funds gets distributed equally among districts,” said Tarby. “The remaining 40 percent gets distributed with a formula that considers the impacts form gas development in a particular county. Districts will have to report their use of the funds with an itemization and explanation of how they were used.”
    Other items
    There is still money left in the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) and the State Conservation Commission is continuing to accept applications.
    Page 2 of 2 - For fiscal year 2012/13, $10 million worth of tax credits were allocated and so far $8.57 million has been given. Contact Amy Smith at (717) 787-8821 or amymsmith@pa.gov with any questions.
    Applications are being accepted for completed and proposed projects. They are available at www.pda.state.pa.us/REAP under Forms, or by contacting Amy Smith.
    Applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.
     
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