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(PALO PINTO COUNTY, TX) — As a result of the latest fires, the Board of Directors of the Buckets and Boots Foundation has received inquiries into how the funds for the Palo Pinto County Fire Departments have been and will be distributed. The non-profit held a large fundraiser on July 9th at the Rocker B Ranch in Graford that netted approximately $450,000 specifically for the fire and sheriff departments of Palo Pinto County who have battled massive wildfires, which have devastated the county.
Due to the length of time required to process credit card contributions and collect all checks, the funds became fully available for use in mid-August. The Board, along with input from county officials, developed a plan that was determined to be the best means for distribution of the funds. On August 17th the Board notified the 11 Palo Pinto County Fire Departments and the Sheriff Department of the method of distribution as follows:
‧ 20% of the funds will be distributed in equal installments to each of the 11 fire departments and the sheriff department. Once a tax identification form is received back from each department, a $7,500 contribution will made to each department to cover maintenance and supply costs. Each department will be responsible for reporting back to the Foundation on how this money was spent. To date the foundation has received the tax identification form back from 4 of the 12 departments and those checks have been issued.
‧ 30% of the funds have been designated as an Emergency Relief Fund for the county. The past three days have obviously been an emergency. Board members have been in contact with county officials who are aware that these funds are available for emergency requests. As of September 2nd, no requests have been received from the fire departments. It is anticipated that requests for funds will come in after the fires have been contained and state and federal funds have been exhausted.
‧ The remaining 50% of the funds will be distributed to the departments through a grant process. Each department may make a grant request by completing a one-page form identifying the request and detailing how the request will be utilized. The Board will consult with local officials, Fire Chiefs and others to make an informed decision on what requests will best benefit the county in its efforts to fight both past and future wildfires.
“We realize that some folks are frustrated and looking for a quick fix, but there is no amount of funding that will ensure these drought conditionswill not spawn more fires,” said Lance Byrd of the Buckets and Boots Foundation. “As neighbors and land owners, we are equally vested and deeply committed to the preservation and welfare of Palo Pinto County. At the same time we have a fiduciary responsibility to the stakeholders, citizens, and event supporters to distribute the funds in a responsible and accountable manner. We feel these funds will make a big difference to our local fire departments and we are working to distribute them as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
For information, please contact Lance Byrd at the Buckets and Boots Foundation (817) 984-8532.