The signup period for the 2006 Oklahoma Cost-Share Program has been set at the Pontotoc County Conservation District for Jan. 3, 2006 – Jan. 17, 2005. The program offers financial and technical assistance for ponds. Cost-share assistance will be provided at the rate of 60 percent or the lesser of the county average of actual costs, not to exceed $1,500. Landowners can make application for the program at the Pontotoc County Conservation District office located at 1328 Cradduck Rd, Ada, between the hours of 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Landowners must make application for the program during the signup period to qualify for cost-share payments. Because of limited funds a ranking system will be used to determine who is approved if more applications are received than can be funded. "This system ensures fairness to landowners and ensures that cost-share funds are used to meet conservation priorities," said Mr. Holland, conservation district chairman.

There are some restrictions in the program such as the size of the land tracts. Funds cannot be allocated to land tracts of less than twenty acres with less than $1,000 of soil dependent products sold annually.

Landowners approved for the program will be notified of the practice approved and the amount of cost-share that will be provided. The application and the practice must be approved and a performance agreement signed by both the district and the participant before any installation work begins in order to qualify for payment.

For more informaiton, phone (580) 332-7979.

The program authorized by the Oklahoma State Legislature in 1998 is administered at the state level by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and at the local level by the conservation district.

The conservation district selects the conservation practices that best fit local needs from a state approved list. The district also establishes signup periods, cost-share rates, and application ranking procedures. They take applications and help participants complete the necessary paper work for payment. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical assistance for the program.

Landowners with questions about the program are invited to visit the conservation district office or call 580-332-7979.