Community Impact Board nears $1 billion in funding
by Anna Thayn
Mar 14, 2012 | 2147 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board is approacing $1 billion in funding granted or loaned to assist Utah communities in projects around the state.

The CIB provides loans and/or grants to state agencies and subdivisions of the state, which have or may be socially or economically impacted by mineral resource development on federal lands.

Under the Federal Mineral Lease Act of 1920, lease holders on public land make royalty payments to the federal government for the development and production of non-metalliferous minerals. The Utah Legislature set up the CIB by state statute in 1978.

In Utah, the primary source of these royalties is the commercial production of fossil fuels on federal land held by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Since the enactment of the Mineral Lease Act of 1920, a portion of these royalty payments, called mineral lease payments, has been returned to the state in an effort to help mitigate the local impact of energy and mineral developments on federal lands.

In Utah the primary source of funding is from natural gas, coal and oil production. The state of Utah then allocates 32.5 percent of the royalties as Permanent Community Impact Funds.

According to CIB fund manager Keith Burnett, the revenue of the board has increased in the past 10 years. They receive as much funding from loan repayments and interest as their entire budget was in the past.

The fund became a revolving loan fund in the early 1980’s at which time the board was then able to keep the principal and the interest repaid on loans they made.

In fiscal year 2011, the CIB received an allocation of $81,618,851 from royalty payments. In that year they funded projects in 18 counties.

San Juan County received $4,150,500 in grant and loan funding combined for projects including city office renovations and street improvements in Blanding, a water study in Bluff, water system improvements including secondary water metering in Monticello, and Clinic and Lab expansions and patient care equipment for the San Juan Health Service District.

From 2007 to 2011, the CIB received $746,385,554 in royalty funding, of which $21,310,361 was revenues from lands in San Juan County. During that time the CIB allocated a total of $21,573,368 to projects in San Juan County.

Projects in the county over that time include a water treatment plant, recreation center and fire station expansion in Blanding; water improvements and metering in Bluff; culinary water system improvements in Eastland; water, sewer and street improvements, a storm drain study and new swimming pool in Monticello; an operating room and various medical equipment including a CT scanner and x-ray equipment for the San Juan Health Services District; a senior citizens center in La Sal; fire station in Mexican Hat and road work in Lisbon Valley.

Agencies eligible to receive funding from the CIB include counties, special service districts, cities, special improvement districts, towns, water conservancy districts, school districts, water or sewer improvement districts, building authorities, and housing authorities.

The CIB may also provide financial assistance to public postsecondary institutions in Utah, which includes all state supported public universities, colleges, community colleges and applied technology colleges.  Private institutions are not eligible for CIB assistance.

The CIB cannot fund any education project that could have reasonably been funded by a school district through annual budgeting, capital budgeting or bonded indebtedness. Indian Tribes, individuals, corporations, associations, and private non‑profit organizations are not eligible for financing from the CIB.

Utah state statute authorizes the CIB to fund planning, construction and maintenance of public facilities, and provision of public services (infrastructure traditionally provided by governmental entities). All applicants must show that the facilities or services provided through funding will be available and open to the general public and that funding assistance is not being used to pass along low interest government financing to the private sector. 

The CIB funding guidelines state that total participation for any project is generally limited to a maximum of $5,000,000.

Any planning, study or design requests require a fifty percent cash contribution from the agency making the application and they cannot count the use of in-kind funds as local matching funds unless it has demonstrable value, such as real property.  Donated labor or staff time cannot be counted toward local matching funds.

The CIB reviews applications and authorizes funding assistance on a trimester basis each year. After applications are received, the CIB reviews each project at which time they either deny the application, place it on the Pending List for consideration at a future Project Review Meeting after additional review, or place the application on the Prioritization List for consideration at the next Project Funding Meeting.

Applicants make formal presentations to the CIB and respond to the CIB’s questions during the review phase. Funds are not allocated at the CIB Project Review Meetings unless their is a public health or safety emergency or another compelling reason. In that event, the CIB can suspend their rules and accept and authorize funding at that time.  

Currently an application by the San Juan Health Services District is being submitted for a loan for an electronic records system in which the District will be asking the CIB to suspend the rules and immediately fund the project.

The immediate funding is being requested in order for the Health District to be able to implement the system in time to qualify for federal grant funding that will be used to repay the CIB loan for which they are applying.
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