Director knowledge, understanding, direction and involvement in the internal fiscal well-being and management of the District are critical.
Knowledge of Budget and Funding Sources
District must develop an annual budget and it must be submitted to the State Conservation Commission by March 31st of each year.
- Directors should be knowledgeable of the system used to set salaries within the District.
- As public officials, conservation district directors are accountable for funds, property, and equipment belonging to the district.
Potential funding sources available but not limited to Districts across the state include:
- Local Governing Body
- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- State Conservation Commission (SCC)
- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA)
- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
- Fees for Services
- Sale of products
- Private donations (subject to SCC Policy)
The Districts do not have the authority to levy taxes.
State agencies that have a line item in their budget for Conservation District Funding include DEP and PDA.
Conservation District Fund Allocation Program contributes to the support of management, technical assistance positions and administration of the district.
Knowledge of Internal Financial Controls
It is the responsibility of the district board to develop fiscal policies.
- Internal financial controls – A recorded process and procedure for receiving and dispersing funds
- Develop a financial plan to ensure that the district can meet their short and long term financial obligations
Conservation District Law and SCC policy requires Districts to have an annual audit completed by a certified public accountant and submitted to the SCC by October 1st each year.
- Audits should also be completed if required by any other programs.
- Each district is strongly encouraged to have their auditor attend a monthly board meeting to present the findings of the completed audit.
- The Board is responsible to see that appropriate audit recommendations are implemented.
Funds obtained by conservation districts are classified as public funds, regardless of how they are obtained.
The board should be aware of all conditions and restrictions associated with funding sources.