The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Columbia Co. to Seek Golf Course Irrigation Grant

RCO grant could provide up to $500,000; if successful, project would begin late 2019


DAYTON – Dayton Country Club Board President Roger Trump has been on a mission this year in search of funds for the much-needed irrigation system at Touchet Valley Golf Course.

Trump reported last week that he is looking into a grant with the state Recreation Conservation Office, which could yield up to $500,000 for that project.

The RCO’s $3 million Land and Water Conservation Fund provides money for projects that preserve and develop outdoor recreation resources, but it carries certain stipulations, including a 20% soft match. Matching contributions could come from cash donations, volunteer labor, equipment and/or materials, Trump said.

The RCO Land and Water Conservation grant has a two-year cycle, and the submittal deadline for the 2018 cycle is May 1.

Columbia County Commissioner Mike Talbott said he did not want to wait until the next grant cycle occurs in 2020. “Let’s do something. Go for it, and get it,” he said at last week’s meeting of the commissioners.

The grant also carries a long-term obligation agreement clause, which says a project funded by the RCO must continue to function as originally intended. The commissioners addressed that stipulation when they approved a 22-year extension to the county’s 50 year lease agreement with the Dayton Country Club.

The grant application process takes about six months. After Trump makes a project presentation in Olympia, technical review of all the projects submitted will be conducted, and a list of preliminary rankings of those under consideration will be made. The grant committee will then submit the projects they recommend to the RCO Funding Board for consideration.

Final funding approval is through the National Park Service, and awards will be made after July 1, 2019.

Trump said that if the Touchet Valley Golf Course irrigation project is selected for funding, actual work on the irrigation system will begin after the 2019 golf season.

Trump said he had wanted to apply for the RCO grant when he was still working as the county’s Parks and Recreation manager. He is now retired. “My hands were tied then because I was told there was a conflict of interest,” he said.

The 1965 Land and Water Conservation Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to the states for acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas.

Typical projects are renovating community parks; building new skate parks, tennis courts, swimming pools and trails; protecting wildlife habitat; and building athletic fields and golf courses.


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