Although Del Norte County is slated to receive about $550,000 in Secure Rural School dollars for road projects, school district officials don’t yet know what the allocation to local education will be, according to Superintendent Jeff Harris.
The Secure Rural Schools program, created as a way of offsetting the financial impact to rural counties from government limits placed on timber harvesting, was reauthorized with the passing of an omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump last month.
Harris said the allotment to Del Norte County Unified School District for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years will be 95 percent of what it was in 2015, but the district doesn’t have a specific dollar amount.
“We haven’t gotten any confirmation of what that looks like from the state and what that looks like from the feds,” Harris said, adding that the district also shares part of those SRS dollars with College of the Redwoods. We’re not sure what we get.”
In 2015, Del Norte County Unified School District received about $1.2 million in SRS dollars, Harris said. Citing the omnibus spending bill, Harris said those funds are typically dispersed within 45 days of its passage.
“But we still don’t have any idea of what that final dollar amount’s going to be,” he said. “We haven’t received any sort of notice (or) any sort of award documentation.”
Del Norte County is expected to receive $550,000 in 2017-18 Secure Rural Schools dollars, about 5 percent less than the previous allocation, County Administrative Officer Jay Sarina told the Triplicate on April 2. Sarina said he expects the county will also get $550,000 in SRS funds for 2018.
During the 2015-16 fiscal year, Del Norte County received $567,000 in SRS dollars, Sarina told the Triplicate.
The county roads division uses SRS funding to address deferred maintenance, Del Norte County Community Development Director Heidi Kunstal told the Triplicate.