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BEND, OR -- Central Oregon’s three counties will each get a piece of the $55 million payout from the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Act. U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Tuesday that 29 Oregon counties will start receiving payments this week from the Forest Service. Congress recently approved a two-year extension of the funding.


Crook County is set to take in over $1.5 million, Deschutes County will get $1.3 million  and Jefferson County will receive just over $520,000. Click HERE for a complete breakdown of SRS payments by county.


The payments are in addition to $14 million in Bureau of Land Management funds headed to 18 western Oregon counties, announced earlier this week, as part of the O&C Lands deal. That combined $69 million will be shared among a total of 33 Oregon counties.


"SRS payments are crucial to keeping schools and libraries open, maintaining roads, ensuring there are police officers to keep communities safe, and providing mental health resources in rural counties," Senator Merkley said in a statement. "After hearing from Oregonians, I also secured a fix that will allow SRS funds to be used for counties' preparations for emergency response, as well as for emergency response activities themselves. This important funding now provides the flexibility counties need to spend emergency response dollars where they will do the most good."


Senator Wyden says since co-writing the original SRS program in 2000, Oregon counties have received more than $3 billion. 


Photo: Getty Images

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