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Jefferson County Soil and Water District completes auction, awaits audit as it tries to regain footing


The Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District has completed an auction of surplus equipment to help offset the nearly $175,000 it owes the state after it was revealed early this year that former district Executive Director Brian J. Wohnsiedler was borrowing money against future state grants to pay operating costs.

Mr. Wohnsiedler, who resigned from his position in February, has retained an attorney with “no indication why,” according to Christine M. Watkins, the interim executive director.

The sale of a truck, boat and trailer netted the district $27,365.22.

If the district is able to come up with a plan to pay the $175,000 back, it may be able to start receiving state grant money again.

In addition to selling off equipment, the district also has had to downsize staff.

In March, forester Gary D. Eddy became the second district employee laid off in the last four months.

The district currently is awaiting the results of an independent audit of its financial records. Those results are expected in mid-April.

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