Delta County recently received just over $209,000 in 2020 National Forest Payments in accordance with the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. The amount was a significant increase compared to the nearly $170,000 granted last year.

Delta County Treasurer Lisa Tafoya recommended following the county’s annual distribution process of the funds. While Congress allocates the “Secure Rural” program funds each year, the amount isn’t part of the Delta County budget, the DCI previously reported.

House Bill 1250, passed in 2009 by the Colorado Legislature, changed the way that National Forest Payments are required to be distributed between the school district(s) and county road and bridge funds.

The new allocation stipulates a minimum allocation of 25% to the school districts ($52,291) and 25% to the county road and bridge department ($52,291) and the remaining 50% to be allocated between the county and school district.

Payments are divided into three distinct categories,: Title I for roads and schools, Title II for projects on Federal lands and Title III for county projects, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

County representatives and Delta County School District representatives discussed the distribution of the remaining 50%, with the school district receiving 35% totaling $36,604; the county road and bridge receiving 35% totaling $36,604 and Title III receiving 30% totaling $31,374.

Title III uses as specified in the act for community wildfire protection plans and/or reimbursement for county emergency response services performed on Federal lands.

Total payment to the school district is in the amount of $88,895. Total payment to the county road and bridge is in the amount of $88,895 and total payment set aside for Title III is $31,374.92.

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