Jackson County Times

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Friday, May 8, 2009

State Recycling Grants Drastically Reduced

Approximately $200,000 in grant funding lost by local department
By Sid Riley
In conversation with Chuck Hatcher, Director of Parks and Recycling for Jackson County, we have learned that the new state budget involves huge cuts in the funding of grants under the Small County Recycling Grants Program. Last year this program was funded with $9.7 million dollars which was given to thirty four small counties, which yielded a grant total of $277,000 for each of these counties to use in their recycling efforts.
It appears this funding has now been cut to $2.6 million for the thirty three counties which remain at under 100,000 in population, thus giving available grant funding of only $79,000. This is especially unfortunate since under Hatcher’s leadership our county programs have received two prestigious awards for performance. Last year the Jackson County Recycling Program received the State Small County Outstanding Program Award, and the Golden Bung Award from the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association. It would be unfortunate if the county was forced to scale back its recycling efforts after such an outstanding year.
Hatcher states that although some cuts will be necessary, there are some reserve funds which have been created in case such funding shortfalls are experienced. This new budget may require some creative management and some use of these reserves in order to sustain the programs now in place.

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