Decision time for funds from Allegheny N.F.

The Warren County Commissioners will once again have to decide to take a percentage of timber receipts on the county’s portion of the Allegheny National Forest or Secure Rural Schools funding.

The decision has to be made by the end of the year, and could be determined as early as Wednesday morning during the commissioners regular meeting.

“We have the opportunity to decide we want to go back to the secure rural Schools funding or continue with the 25 percent receipts,” Commissioner John Eggleston said. “We’re going to try to make that decision Wednesday.”

The funds have historically been used to offset 911 and emergency management activities.

The commissioners voted last year to take a percentage of timber receipts on the county’s portion of the ANF. Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said at the time the amount distributed to the county through the Secure Rural Schools funding has been “significantly” declining over the years.

Last year he estimated the total amount of funds from timber receipts at nearly $865,000 and the Secure Rural Schools funds at nearly $756,000.

The decision could also be tabled to the last meeting of the year on Dec. 26 when the commissioners also must approve the 2014 county budget.

The proposed 2014 budget which Fiscal Director Toby Rohlin described as a “balanced budget” does not include a tax increase and $115,000 of revenues over expenses.

The commissioners also said there was no further information about the proposed change of the county’s designated Tourism Promotion Agency from the Warren County Visitors Bureau to the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry.

“We’re waiting for the formal notifications from the townships,” Eggleston said. “We’ve had a lot of votes and been told a lot of things but only received a few of the actual notifications. So we’re waiting on that.”