From the new water and sewer system in Spanish Valley to a new fire truck in Monticello and from flood mitigation efforts in Bluff to new health care facilities in Blanding, revenue from the oil and gas leases significantly impact community infrastructure in San Juan County.
See the attached chart to show the projects in San Juan County over the past ten years.
The Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund, known as the CIB, is funded by revenues from oil and gas leases on public lands. The funds are distributed for projects in the counties which generate the oil and gas leases.
Counties, cities, towns, and other political subdivisions of the State of Utah are eligible to apply.
Non-state entities are not eligible to apply, including Native American tribes, individuals, corporations, associations, and private non-profit groups.
The funds are distributed by the Community Impact Board (CIB). The board of 11 officials includes San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams, who has been on the board for several years.
Between 2014 and 2018, revenues from federal leases in Utah totaled $529 million. Nearly half of the revenues were placed in the CIB.
A large number of San Juan County projects have been funded by the CIB. While oil and gas leases in San Juan County contributed nearly $7 million to the CIB, the CIB funded more than $25 million in projects in the county over the five year period.
Last year, the CIB funded 61 projects in Utah, with contributions totaling more than $57 million.
More than half of the contributions – 57 percent – were grants, with the remainder in loans.
The 2018 CIB projects in the state include $21.8 million for transportation, $14.2 million for sewer, $6.2 million for buildings, and $4.7 million for health and public safety.
Other projects in 2018 include $3.8 million for water, $3.4 million for recreation, $1.6 million in combined projects, $1 million for planning, and $300,000 for equipment.
Last year, revenue from oil and gas leases on federal land nearly tripled the level of the previous highest years. As a result, it is anticipated that an unprecedented amount of funding will be available to the CIB in the future.
Oil and gas leases are not without controversy. The Friends of Cedar Mesa, a Bluff-based group, recently filed lawsuit in federal court challenging oil and gas leases on BLM ground in 2018.
In addition to the financial contribution to the CIB, oil and gas production on federal land adds to the property value of the county. In 2018, the total value of properties in San Juan County was $828 million. Of that total, $388 million were centrally-assessed properties, many of them on public land.