GJ staffers find error that means 
cash back

More than $4.2 million in federal mineral lease monies is headed back to local communities after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Friday to distribute the funds.

The money comes from the Local Government Permanent Fund, a “slush fund” of federal mineral lease monies as described by the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, who touted the news in a press release.

The story of how the money came to be is unique. Grand Junction’s finance department noticed in July that the money hadn’t been distributed. City officials alerted several state representatives and the AGNC, who forwarded the concerns on to members of the state’s Joint Budget Committee.

Federal mineral lease dollars are distributed to counties and municipalities based on an area’s level of energy production.

Garfield County, with the second-most number of oil and gas wells in the state, is set to get more than $411,000 in new revenues with the bill’s passage.

Rio Blanco County will get more than $374,000, and Mesa County will receive a little more than $190,000.

The City of Grand Junction can expect to receive more than $89,000.

“This money will go a long ways toward helping our local governments provide the services they need to, in this time of reduced revenues,” AGNC Executive Director Scott McInnis is quoted as saying.


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