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This entry was published on 2018-04-20
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SECTION 11-A
State aid to districts
Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWC) CHAPTER 9-B, ARTICLE 2
§ 11-a. State aid to districts. (1) To aid districts in carrying out
the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, providing
technical assistance to landowners, the state, within the amount
appropriated therefor, shall:

(a) Reimburse each soil and water conservation district to the extent
of fifty percent of the amount expended by the district for the items
specified in this paragraph, up to sixty thousand dollars per district
in any fiscal year. Reimbursement pursuant to this paragraph shall be
limited to expenditures for the employment of conservation field
technicians or district managers, and the purchase of supplies and
equipment related to these positions, for the purpose of supervising or
providing technical assistance for the establishment and implementation
of soil and water conservation practices in accordance with programs
undertaken by the district. At the end of each calendar year, verified
and detailed claims for such reimbursement shall be submitted to the
state soil and water conservation committee in such form and manner and
containing such information as the state soil and water conservation
committee, the commissioner of agriculture and markets and the state
comptroller may require. Notwithstanding any other provision of this
chapter, the soil and water conservation district of New York city shall
be considered the equivalent of five districts when reimbursed in
accordance with the provisions of this paragraph.

(b) Within amounts available, provide financial assistance to each
soil and water conservation district in an amount of up to six thousand
dollars, in addition to the reimbursement provided under paragraph (a)
of this subdivision, for the purposes of carrying out projects which
conserve, restore and enhance the soil and water resources of this
state; assist in the implementation of agricultural best management
practices; prevent and reduce agricultural and non-agricultural
nonpoint-source water pollution; assist in the control of floods and
mitigate flood damage; protect and restore streams and wetlands; protect
and restore wildlife and aquatic habitat; assist in the drainage of
agricultural lands; prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs; control
stormwater run-off, including from construction sites; assist in
maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors; reduce
agriculturally-generated air pollution; assist the agricultural
production of green energy; protect open space; collect and dispose of
pesticides; manage public lands; and protect and manage rural and urban
forests. For purposes of this paragraph, the soil and water conservation
of New York city shall be considered the equivalent of five districts.

(c) Within amounts available, financial assistance to each soil and
water conservation district, in addition to the amounts provided under
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision shall be distributed equally
to districts that qualify pursuant to performance standards to be
established by the soil and water conservation committee and the
commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets in rules and
regulations. Such standards shall include, but not be limited to, (i)
demonstrating the extent and sufficiency of district board activity
including board operations, financial oversight and training; (ii)
district reporting requirements, including annual reports and responding
to the state committee, and public outreach and education activities;
(iii) the quality of the delivery of state natural resource conservation
programs including appropriate certifications, training, timely
completion of projects, and compliance with reporting; (iv) the ability
of the district to use such funding to leverage additional funds from
local, federal and private sources; and (v) the ability to promote
partnerships and assist local governments and non-governmental
organizations.

(2) Reimbursement and funding pursuant to this section, when approved
by the state soil and water conservation committee and the commissioner
of agriculture and markets, shall be paid out of the state treasury from
funds appropriated and made available for the purposes of this section
upon audit and warrant of the state comptroller on vouchers certified by
the state soil and water conservation committee and the commissioner of
agriculture and markets in the manner provided by law.

(3) The commissioner of agriculture and markets and the state soil and
water conservation committee are each empowered to promulgate such rules
and regulations and to prescribe such forms as each shall deem necessary
to effectuate the purposes of this section.