Forest receipts could aid search and rescue

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Barry County Sheriff's Department's Search and Rescue unit could receive several thousand dollars in extra revenue this year. The Barry County Commission plans to use 15 percent of the National Forest Full Payment Receipts to support search and rescue and other emergency services.

"Since the National Forest Receipts total over $100,000, the county is required to set aside 15 percent of the funds for what are called Title III Projects," said Lois Lowe, county treasurer. "The other 85 percent is split between the schools and road districts with the schools receiving 75 percent and the road districts receiving 25 percent of the money."

Last year, $15,283.68 was set aside for Title III Projects. Lowe expects this year's revenues to be around the same amount.

"In 2008, the money was used for law enforcement in the National Forest," said Lowe. "The county was required to spend the money on sheriff's department drug patrols, search and rescue, law enforcement or other emergency services but there was not a designated time in which the money had to be spent.

"In 2009, the money must be used for sheriff's department search and rescue or emergency services," said Lowe. "The county will also have a designated time in which the money must be spent or it will need to be sent back. We don't know what that time frame is right now."

On Nov. 10, the Barry County Commission voted to publish a notice of the 45-day comment period regarding the use of the National Forest funds. The comment period will conclude around Dec. 20.

Individuals interested in commenting on the use of the funds, can write to the Barry County Commission, 700 Main Street, Suite 2, Cassville MO, 65625.

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