Water, photo contests and fund spending

FONDA — During the Montgomery County Legislator’s budget and finance meeting, representatives of Montgomery County Soil and Water District presented an annual water quality committee report.

Patrick Clear, the chairman of Montgomery County’s water quality committee first spoke on how well they have been doing. He said they sponsor the annual water quality taste test for the county.

“We have a very close competition this year,” Clear said. “Canajoharie was in third place, one point behind Palatine Bridge, who was one point behind our winner, St. Johnsville.”

Clear said he also did the annual photo contest for the waterways in Montgomery County. He said this year they had the top number of entries for the contest.

Julicia Godbout, AED coordinator spoke on the committee’s Harvey project. She said every year they are funded for supplies for $6,000 to use within the community.

“For the 2017 year we decided to provide a high tunnel for the [agricultural ad science] program at Fonda-Fultonville,” Godbout said. “They will be using that high tunnel to really get their hands in the ground and working with the soil, learning and providing fresh produce for the school or for funding towards the greenhouse program.”

She said a high tunnel is similar to a green house, but rather that working on table tops, they are actually growing in the ground. It gives farmers an additional one month of growing their produce.

Godbout also spoke about how she has been working closely with Dygert Farm Creamery located in Palatine Bridge to help find them funding and get their creamery going where they will be distributing their own milk to residents who live in the county.

She also mentioned their Farm and Home Safety Day at the Fonda Fair Grounds. “Last year we had roughly 200 students and parents participate in the event,” Godbout said. “This event provides students with a hands-on learning experience of at home and farm safety.”

Corey Nellis, district manager of the soil and water office, spoke about how in 2017 they pumped about 8-10 million gallons of water to farms throughout the county that were low on water. “We’re hoping that the Climate Resiliency Grant that New York State has to offer people to go in double the size of these people’s bonds and maybe not have to pump as much water,” Nellis said.