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Soil and water conservation moves into its new facility

WOODSFIELD — The Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District recently unveiled its new facility at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, which offers easier access, convenient parking and additional space to conduct business.

Around 75 people attended the conservation district’s open house event Tuesday, where attendees were taken on a tour of the new facility and provided with lunch, snacks and souvenirs.

Katie Kovaly, program coordinator for the Monroe County SWCD, said the new building offers much more space than the former location next to the courthouse on North Main Street.

“It allows the public to have easier access to us, better parking, more space — we were completely outgrowing the space that we had — and it allows us to work on our equipment as well. We were able to put a basement underneath of the office that acts as a workshop for tools and equipment. It genuinely makes our life easier and gives the community easier access,” she said.

Employees began moving into the new building in late July and have been busy completing the move ever since.

The project had been in the works for the past two and a half years after the Monroe County Port Authority donated a doublewide trailer to the SWCD, which was converted into an office space. Kovaly said they had to pour a concrete foundation prior to relocating the building, along with adding an access path to the new facility. Once the building was in place, renovations began that were paid for by the district.

“We’re levy funding so we were able to save up enough money over the last few years to make this a reality,” she said.

Kovaly said it feels “fantastic” to finally have the project complete and to be moved into the new space.

The SWCD develops and conducts programs to aid in the conservation of soil, water and related sources. The conservation district’s most recent event was held last weekend — Outdoor Day is meant to provide youth with fun activities along with outdoor education. Kovaly said they had a lower turnout than what they had anticipated. She said around 40 people attended throughout the day. Last year, when the event was first held, more than 100 people attended. She said the lower turnout was most likely due to it being held on a holiday weekend. Attendees were offered fishing classes, archery, boat safety education, arts and crafts, demonstrations, giveaways and more.

The Monroe SWCD is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at 46762 Ohio 26, Woodsfield. For more information, contact the agency at 740-472-5477. Kovaly said the public is always welcome to come check the office out during open hours.

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