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Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act Extended

October 04
22:34 2013

RuralSchoolsThe Coconino County Board of Supervisors applauded the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for approving an extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRS) through Fiscal Year 2014.

SRS, which was passed last week as part of the Helium Stewardship Act, is expected to be signed by the President. The County receives approximately $4 million in critical SRS funding to maintain roads, schools, and the County’s lifesaving search and rescue efforts.

In 1908, it was enacted that 25 percent of Forest Service revenues from timber sales, mineral resources and grazing fees be returned to counties and states. However, because those payments to local governments fluctuated with market forces, county and state governments were unable to rely on them as a steady source of revenue.

Coconino County fully supports Congress for including and passing the one year SRS reauthorization in the Helium Stewardship Act and we are urging the President to sign it. We will also continue to urge Congress to support a long-term funding solution to benefit active natural resource management and provide economic stability to counties such as ours.”

— Liz Archuleta, Secure Rural Schools Reauthorized through Fiscal Year 2014. Coconino County Website, October 2, 2013.

In 2000, Congress approved SRS to stabilize education and road maintenance funding through predictable payments to counties. Those collecting the funds reinvest up to 20 percent of the funding into projects that benefit National Forests. In addition to schools and road projects, the County also uses the funds for specific purposes such as search, rescue, emergency services on federal lands and the development of community wildfire protection plans.

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