The Colorado Department of Local Affairs this year will distribute $37 million of state oil and gas severance taxes and federal mineral lease payments to 506 counties, cities, and school districts.

The annual payment ballooned 150% to a high of $80 million in 2009 from $32 million in 2008, due to high commodity prices and a revamping of the distribution formula.

Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the department, said the money is distributed to local governments affected by mining and energy production activities.

“This is a boost for local economies and allows local officials to decide where the funds are needed most,” Kirkpatrick said.

The annual distribution assists local governments with the demands put on roads, utility systems, and other services by oil, gas, and mineral production, according to Rio Blanco County commissioner Ken Parsons.

“These funds help communities address the impacts of development, processing, or energy conversion on their infrastructure and capacity to improve the sustainability of their communities,” said Parsons, who is a member of the Energy and Mineral Impact Advisory Committee.

Garfield and Weld counties will each receive $1.8 million in allocations, with $1.5 million going to Mesa County.

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