Our Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021
By unanimous vote, the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Directors on June 16, 2020 adopted the District’s $3.1 million operating budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 (FY21), which begins July 1, 2020 and ends on June 30, 2021. Because of the uncertain times we are in, we have taken a conservative approach to our budget, cutting back where we can and delaying some spending until the impact on our property tax revenues becomes clearer. We are prepared for a 1 to 2 percent increase in payment delinquencies in FY21. FY22 may be harder hit due to expected declines in property market values, which will increase compression on our property tax revenues.
Our resources in FY21 include $1.7 million in property tax revenues, levied at a rate of $0.075 per thousand dollars of assessed value. These funds represent 54 percent of our resources for the coming year. The other 46 percent is made up of a beginning fund balance of $1.1 million and approximately $300,000 in grants, contributions and other funding.
Through the efforts of our skilled conservationists and support personnel, representing 10.8 full-time-equivalent employees, we are able to deliver conservation assistance to landowners, non-governmental organizations, schools, community groups and others. The budget also sustains our capacity to assist with on-the-ground projects such as cover cropping, native plant hedgerows for pollinators, invasive weed control, riparian forest restoration and non-commercial forest thinning to improve the health of private woodlands.
Our project to restore large-scale floodplains and wetlands along the Columbia River and Multnomah Channel, specifically the Sturgeon Lake Restoration Project, was completed this year with the reopening of Dairy Creek channel to tidal flow between the Columbia River and Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. FY21 spending on this project will be $130,000 primarily for ongoing maintenance and monitoring.
The adopted budget also recognizes that our work will only be successful if we are able to truly partner with all facets of the community, engage with respect, listen authentically, and have the courage to share decision-making, control, and resources with others. In FY21, 5 percent of our program budget is dedicated to community projects and partner support, with the goal of leveraging the District’s efforts and increasing our reach by efficiently and effectively performing on-the-ground work, as well as education, outreach, and planning that support our mission, including equitable outcomes for all.
Winner of the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
We are pleased to announce that the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded our District the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for our fiscal year 2020 budget. The award represents a significant achievement by the District. It reflects the commitment of our Board of Directors and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, we were required to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as: a policy document; a financial plan; an operations guide; and a communications device.
Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and in the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. There are over 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award
recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
The following are the District budget documents for each corresponding fiscal year: