|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
County given $440,000 by forest service
Trinity Standard -
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trinity County and Trinity County schools will share $440,454 this year in U.S. Forest Service funding, according to Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vilsack announced last week that a total of $389 million was being distributed to 41 states and Puerto Rico to assist with schools, roads and specific county programs. A total of $3.2 million of that money was awarded to 12 East Texas counties that contain national forests. In addition to Trinity County, other East Texas counties receiving money include: • Angelina -- $217,995 • Houston -- $613,670 • Jasper -- $78,244 • Montgomery -- $189,255 • Nacogdoches -- $34,977 • Newton -- $12,553 • Sabine -- $620,406 • San Augustine -- $272,790 • San Jacinto -- $238,602 • Shelby -- $386,000 • Walker -- $214,837 “The annual revenue sharing payments are part of the Department of Agriculture’s long-standing commitment to rural communities, schools and American youth,” Vilsack said. “Our century-long support of America's public schools and roads is one of many ways in which USDA and the Forest Service, as good neighbors and partners, contribute to rural communities becoming self-sustaining and prosperous.” In the 1980s, Forest Service revenues began to decline, largely as a result of changes in social values and diminished timber sales. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 authorized enhanced and gradually declining payments to ease the transition to reduced federal revenues. The Act expired in 2007, but in 2008, Congress extended the program through 2011. Under the program, half of the $440,454 awarded to Trinity County – or $220,227 -- will be allocated into the county’s road and bridge fund to help cover the cost of maintaining rural roads. The other half will be divided among the county’s school districts. More information on the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act is on the web at www.fs.fed.us/srs.