RD494 - An Evaluation of Methods to Stabilize the Fluctuations in Funding for Agricultural Best Management Practices – November 2017
Item 364 R of the 2017 Acts of Assembly directed the Department of Conservation and Recreation (Department) to establish a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) "to evaluate methods to stabilize the fluctuations in funding for Agricultural Best Management Practices".
Recommendation 1: Stabilize Funding for a Base-level Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share (VACS) Program at $35 Million Annually
Recommendation 2: Utilize the Second Half of the Recordation Fee Revenue to Stabilize the Reserve Fund
Deposit the other half of the current $20 recordation fee established by the Appropriation Act into the Water Quality Improvement Fund Reserve Fund. While recordation revenues do fluctuate, the revenue would provide a continual, and potentially stabilizing, stream of monies for the Reserve Fund.
Recommendation 3: Provide Adequate Funding for District Administration, Operations, and Technical Assistance
Provide adequate funding for District administration, operations, and technical assistance. Merging the administration, operation, and technical assistance funding into one complete District base program should be examined as it would reduce the need to address the technical assistance funding as part of the WQIF deposit and would stabilize the funding for Districts. As programs are developed to assist Virginia in meeting its water quality goals, such as the Resource Management Plan Program, it is critical that the Districts receive adequate funding to fully implement these programs.