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Board to make recommendations

By MIKE MORRIS

Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will determine Tuesday how roughly $50,000 of federal forest reserve funds will be spent.

The money can be used for anything from building trails to reimbursing search and rescue crews.

The cash is paid to counties annually to compensate for lost property tax revenues, which can't be collected from federal lands. Forest reserve payments are a percentage of revenues collected from Forest Service lands in each eligible county.

According to a letter from the U.S. Forest Service, this year's funds will be distributed in November or December. Amounts will be slightly higher than last year's, although exact figures have yet to be determined.

Last December, the county received $332,471 of reserve funds for fiscal year 2002. Of that, $282,600 — or 85 percent — was split between public schools and county roads.

The remaining 15 percent, $49,870, was spent on county projects.

Supervisors will determine Tuesday how they want to spend this year's county project money. Funds can be used to:

• Reimburse search and rescue crews and other emergency services, including county-funded fire fighting on federal lands.

• Pay county employees who supervise workers performing mandatory community service on federal lands.

• Establish forest-related after-school programs.

• Construct trails on public lands for fishing, hunting or other recreational purposes.

Calaveras County's Office of Education, the county Sheriff's Department and Fire Safe Council have proposed projects using forest reserve funding.


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