NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A check for $22,000 is waiting to be cashed. Eventually the money will benefit a cause in Nacogdoches County.
All counties receive a portion of unclaimed capital credit checks from non-profit electric co-ops.
However, giving away money isn't as easy as it sounds.
When customers sign up to receive electric service from the Deep East Texas Electric Coop, they become members of a cooperative. When more funds are generated that are needed to operate, funds are returned to members in the form of capital credit checks.
When checks go unclaimed the coop must give it away.
"Those members that cannot be found they send to the state," said Keith Bradford, an advisor from the County Attorney's Office. "The state then under the Texas Code 174.02 is authorized to turn that money to the county without being asked for it."
The Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court is deciding what to do with its $22,000 check. At least one non-profit has asked for a share.
"I think the court was contacted by Ribbons in the Sky Outreach Ministry," said County Commissioner Charlie Thomson.
However, giving the money away isn't that easy. State rules are very specific.
"And here are the key words," Bradford said. "It has to be a county initiated, county based program, so it can't be a third party program out there."
The county chose to make its decision during budget workshops. It's a time and place where lots of places can be found for $22,000.
"My opinion is that this is funds, and I think you said it, needs to stay within the confounds of the county," said County Commissioner Jim Elder.
What to do with the revenue will continue to spark discussion.
The Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative uses a portion of its unclaimed funds for scholarships. Over seventy graduating seniors received scholarships this year.