The Wayne National Forest payment in lieu of taxes was discussed at Thursday morning’s meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
A letter regarding the Wayne National Forest LTIP was sent to the commission by County Auditor Matthew Livengood.
“For natural forest products, two categories of entities receive funds: 50% for the local school district and 50% to be distributed among those with responsibilities under the county’s highway and bridge system in the forest. Wayne National”, he wrote. “The road and bridge portion is split 50% between the county engineer for bridges and the remaining 50% between the county engineer and the townships, based on a pro rata of road mileage in the National Forest of Wayne.”
This year, local Frontier schools will receive 78.95% of the funds, the county will receive 8.55% and the townships will share 12.5%, Livengood wrote.
Full payment is $74,998.92, with Frontier LSD receiving $37,499.46; the county engineer receiving $24,734.64; the Township of Grandview receives $2,677.46; Independence Township receives $1,762.47; the Township of Lawrence receiving $2,579.96; Liberty Township receiving $2,039.97; Township of Ludlow receiving $1,717.48; and the Township of Newport receiving $1,987.47.
“I’ll tell you right now and I said it last year, it’s unfair” said Commission President Charlie Schilling. “That’s not true. They’re crippled up there. Every other school district in the county knows that. I’ve been on a school board for eight years and I’ve talked to other school board members about the region and to other superintendents and everyone shares the same sentiment – it’s unfortunate what Frontier has to deal with up there.
He said he doesn’t understand how in other states schools that are on lots of federal land are well-funded.
Commissioner Jamie Booth read the allocation of funds.
“It could be less of a change order on a (county engineer) contract that Roger (Wright) has to do,” Booth talked about the county engineer’s share of funds. “That should take care of what Roger needs to take care of.”
He said property values are assessed every two years, but the LTIP is still low.
Schilling said he went to township trustee meetings and that townships should take care of the roads with those funds.
“They make pennies” he said. “It just doesn’t fit.”
Booth says they’re powerless in distribution.
In other commission news, Home County Administrator Deanna Green appeared before the council asking for an emergency purchase of a utility tractor to run her farm equipment. She told the commission that the tractor was about 50 years old and had broken down.
“A repairman said the tractor had lost its usefulness and the repair would be more than the value of the tractor”, she said in her request.
The tractor is used to cut and pack hay, feed cows and mow fields, she said.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at