POMEROY — The Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District and United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service will be moving to new quarters in Pomeroy around the middle of this month.
The Meigs SWCD, USDA-NRCS and the USDA-Farm Service Agency offices have shared office space and other resources in what is known as the Agricultural Service Center, which has been located at 33101 Hiland Road since 1990.
However, a recent decision by the FSA to move its Meigs County office to Gallia County made it unfeasible for the district and NRCS to remain in that location, explained Steve Jenkins, Meigs SWCD district administrator.
The SWCD and NRCS offices will remain in Meigs County, continuing a partnership that began in September 1943, when the agencies were respectively known as the Soil Conservation District and Soil Conservation Service.
The new office will be located only a short distance away, at 113 East Memorial Drive, Suite D, across the parking lot from the former Veterans Memorial Hospital in a county-owned building that formerly housed Thomas Rural Health Care.
The Meigs SWCD is a legal subdivision of state government that provides natural resource management assistance to county landowners and other units of local government in line with its mission statement of “providing assistance for the wise use of our natural resources for present and future generations,” Jenkins explained.
The district is funded by the Meigs County Board of Commissioners, and county funds are supplemented by funding from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Soil and Water Resources. The district is governed by a five-member board of supervisors, all county residents, who serve staggered three-year terms.
Next year will mark the district’s 70th year in the county. SWCDs are currently found in all 88 counties of Ohio. The Meigs SWCD provides conservation technical assistance and planning, equipment rental, educational programs, field trips, watershed protection, wildlife assistance in addition to other services for Meigs County landowners and producers.
The district also owns and manages the 174-acre Conservation Area on New Lima Road and administers the county’s recycling program.
“We want to thank the county commissioners for making the space available,” said Meigs SWCD Board Chairman Joe Bolin. “They have been very cooperative during this difficult period.”
Since the building formerly housed a medical office, the county has converted it into an administrative office, adding counter space and removing wash basins from offices that were formerly waiting rooms for medical patients.
Bolin also asked people to please be patient during the move and noted that the district will continue to make every effort to provide services during the move. Getting in touch with the district is difficult during this time period while the Internet and phone servers are being relocated to the new office. The district and NRCS can still be contacted via phone at (740) 992-4282, but other phone lines and e-mail are temporarily disabled.
Currently, all FSA program services will be provided by the Gallia/Lawrence county FSA office unless a producer has elected to transfer his/her record to another county. The Gallia/Lawrence/Meigs FSA office is located at: 111 Jackson Pike, Room 1571, Gallipolis OH 45631. The phone number is (740) 446-8686.
“Speaking on behalf of the entire Meigs SWCD staff, we are going to miss our friends from the FSA office,” Jenkins said. “The camaraderie and fellowship our three agencies have enjoyed over the years has been remarkable.”
“It has been a joy sharing the office with the Farm Service Agency employees,” Bolin agreed.
An open house will be held at the new Meigs SWCD/NRCS office at a date to be determined.