Through the efforts of the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District, area farmers have an opportunity to receive compensation for flood damage through state agencies.
CCSWCD Board Chairman Marshall Nuckolls told The Brazil Times the organization's board of directors met recently to discuss ways to help area farmers with compensation following the June flooding.
The board put together a proposal and sent it to the Indiana Department of Agriculture. A response came back quite quickly.
"We only had like 10 days from the time we got (the response) from the (Department of Agriculture) to respond," Nuckolls said.
The area board had requested $26 million to help area farmers. In the end, it received $50,911.37.
"I don't know that we're going to get any more money at all," Nuckolls said. "There's an awful lot to be done. We'll try to do as much with the money that we got.
"It's all very costly. I wish we had more. But I think the state Department of Agriculture has probably done the best it could do. I feel we were lucky to get this money."
During the recent meetings, the area board of directors met with several county farmers. A total of 60 expressed interest in help with repairs from flood damage.
Nuckolls said another meeting took place to put together an estimate.
"We came up with the $26 million (estimate) and sent it to the Department of Agriculture," he said. "We got an answer back about two weeks ago."
The board then conducted another meeting to discuss how the money would be dispersed.
"We spent several hours on it," Nuckolls said.
The county soil and water board of directors' plan is two-fold. First, CCSWCD will use the money for equipment rental or fuel reimbursement for flood cleanup activities. According to the plan, CCSWCD will provide 75 percent cost share on equipment rental up to $1,500.
The second option of the plan calls for 75 percent cost share toward fuel reimbursement in lieu of equipment rental up to $750, which applies per applicant. All projects/claims, according to the plan, are subject to board approval.
Area farmers that are interested in possible compensation are urged to take pictures before and after and forward all receipts to the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District, 955 W. Craig Ave., Brazil, 47834.
Nuckolls said interested farmers must go to the CCSWCD office to fill out an application in order to be considered for compensation. The process will be based on need.
Nuckolls added the list of interested area farmers might have dwindled as some county farmers have taken other routes to receive possible funding for flood damage.
"They need to check with other agencies," Nuckolls said.
The signup period for applications begins today and will continue through Oct. 10.
Nuckolls said the board of directors will then conduct another meeting regarding dispersing of the monies.
"We'll have to do our evaluations," he said.