Three officials from Delta County Economic Development (DCED) were at the April 23 meeting of the Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) board with a response to critical remarks about DCED's management of the local soil health program.
The DCED officials delivered a letter explaining the soil health program management in light of remarks that had been made by two DMEA directors.
Representing DCED were board members Tom Huerkamp and Scott Thomassen, and director Sarah Carlquist.
The letter recounts that during a recent meeting of the two boards DCED was accused by DMEA board members of "misusing" money that DMEA has contributed to the soil health project. The letter goes on to say that the accusation was later withdrawn.
According to the letter, DMEA board members had been misled, thinking that the co-op's $20,000 contribution was to be paid directly to ag producers as part of the on-farm portion of the program.
The letter includes partial transcripts of DMEA meeting minutes from May 2012 showing that DMEA's $20,000 contribution last year to the program was understood and represented as being used to cover administrative costs. Those administrative costs, which DCED must raise, amount to a total of $40,000 annually for three years. Those costs are specified in the terms of the contract with Department of Agriculture for up to $1.3 million being made available to Uncompahgre Valley ag producers participating in the soil health program.
Foster Farms has also contributed significantly to the administrative costs of the program — $12,500 Carlquist explained. Another $7,500 was raised to fund the program's first year administration.
The DCED representatives also provided a detailed accounting of money and hours spent on the soil health project administration.
The letter was accepted into their minutes by the DMEA board at their April 23 meeting without further comment.
DCED has a close relationship with DMEA. The local electric utility also underwrites costs of DCED's annual meeting and of the annual, two-day-long soil health conference.blog comments powered by Disqus