Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Energy Money Could be on its Way for Mesa County

By Chris
In the future, more money should be headed to Mesa County to deal with with the energy industry. A recent letter from Colorado Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Susan Kirkpatrick to the the Mesa County Commision ends, "minerals are a state asset. However, priority in funding will be given to jurisdictions of origin for grant awards." This and the fact that the maximum amount of and energy and mineral impact assistance grant may be raised $9.5 million has local officials excited. The department, which is the state agency that distributes tax and federal lease revenues from energy companies in the form of grants to local government, is proposing many changes, including boosting the current maximum grant from $500,000 to $2 million. The department also wants to catergorize grants into small (up to $200,000), medium ($200,000 to $2 million), and large ($2 million to $10 million). Its final plans are to designate the amount of the total dollars available through the program by grant size and use, and clarify local match requirements. Josh Penry said that "These policy changes came as a result of the task force and the interim committee that met last year."

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