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Old September 30, 2016   #91
PureHarvest's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,295

Cole what agency are you dealing with?

If it is an NRCS grant, the link I posted is the most updated standard. You'll see its for Illinois and dated September 2016.
It does not matter if it is the Conservation District or and NRCS employee as the planner, the same rules and processes still apply.

If the planner/inspector signs off that the work was completed and done according to standards, they can not come back later and make you pay it back.
There are so many levels of planning/mapping/implementation sheets/operation and maintenance, and document review that the applicant does not see that is supposed to make the contract bulletproof for both sides. Once a contract is signed, no less than 3 officials higher than me review all contracts before the contract is obligated (made active and binding).
Once signatures are made and you complete the work AND they sign of on your payment when it is complete, it is an admission that the work has been completed correctly, or they wouldn't pay you.
Bottom line, payment to you=them acknowledging the work was completed and up to standards. If for some reason they came out to do a spot check (our state spot checks 5% of contracts each program year) you have nothing to defend because their inspectors signed off on it and paid you (again, inherently meaning you did the work according to standard). What it does mean is that the planner and inspector will have some major 'splannin to do and will catch heat.
I am surprised that they would approve a home made design, unless your existing one was done so well that he really thought it was a purchased kit.

I can't tell you how many planners I meet that have no clue about 75% of the programs out there.
If they don't really care and are just pushing through whatever they can just to make their job easier, I could see that. It requires much more thinking, paperwork, phone calls to you etc to do the contracting the right way.
Good planners are the exception more than the rule IN MY REGIONAL EXPERIENCE.
Also, the smaller counties or offices just don't do that many contracts overall, so they have limited experience and practice in the whole process, which leads to them just winging it without ever really understanding what to tell the producer. He/she could just be making it up as they go along because they never really studied the Practice Standard or asked anyone in the office questions.

Last edited by PureHarvest; September 30, 2016 at 07:19 PM.
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