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Sep 1, 2011 4:09 PM by Matt Stafford

Colo. communities, schools getting $54M

DENVER (AP) - Gov. John Hickenlooper says more than $54 million in revenue from state severance tax collections and federal mineral leases will be distributed to Colorado communities and school districts this year, up from $37 million last year.

Colorado Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Reeves Brown said Thursday the increase is a positive sign for the energy industry's health.

The money is meant to help communities whose roads, schools and other infrastructure are affected by energy and mineral production.

State figures show Weld County and its cities and schools are receiving a total of about $8 million, while Garfield County is receiving about $10 million.

Money is distributed based on factors including a community's mineral production, the number of mining and well permits issued there, and population of industry employees.

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