Three counties took the receipts and only one took the flat payment.
Of the four counties eligible to receive funds for having national forest lands within their borders Elk, McKean and Warren counties all decided to opt for 25 percent of timber receipts while only Forest County decided to take a flat rate Secure Rural Schools payment.
The four counties had until Sept. 30 to make a decision on which option they wished to take. By the Sept. 26 meeting of the Allegheny Resource Advisory Committee (RAC), all had made a decision.
Counties electing for the flat rate Secure Rural Schools option are awarded funds to be distributed between Title II and Title III usages. Up to seven percent can be allocated to Title III, or county-level projects. The remainder, traditionally eight percent, must be utilized for Title II special projects on forest lands.
The RAC makes recommendations to the Allegheny National Forest Supervisor on how to utilize those funds.
RAC recommendations are not limited to counties taking the flat rate and, therefore, contributing funding. However, of the eight projects reviewed for recommendation by the RAC, seven were located in Forest County. The sole exception was a $5,000 funding request by Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways for work on the Rimrock Trail.
With only Forest County taking the flat rate, the RAC ended up with approximately $144,000 available for project recommendations. Total project funding requests totaled approximately $181,000.
The RAC opted to move all projects forward to Forest Supervisor Erin Connelly's office for consideration, but ranked them by approval priority.
Of the projects, four were for road-related work and four were non-road projects.
The projects, in order of priority, moved forward, with requested funds amounts, include:
Queens Bridge repair (Forest County) $22,000
Salmon Creek pavilion and trail work (Forest County) $19,000
Jones Farm Road work (Forest County) $15,000
Spring Creek equestrian trail (Forest County) $10,000
Rimrock Trail improvement work (Warren County) $5,000
Belltown Road work (Forest County) $35,659
Westside Wildlife Habitat improvement work (Forest County) $25,000
Jenks Township road work (Forest County) $50,000