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County OKs new budget
The Union County Budget Committee approved a $32.8 million budget Wednesday night to take effect July 1 for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Budget Officer Shelley Burgess said the budget is largely a “status quo” budget that will maintain the current level of services provided by the county.
The total budget amount is down about $1.5 million from the current year’s budget, mostly due to completion of grant projects, grant expirations and reductions in state revenues.
The committee approved the budget after making a few adjustments to the sheriff’s office budget and setting aside an additional $20,500 for funding for some outside groups.
Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen had requested $14,000 to fund a part-time position to assist with front desk duties. That request was not fulfilled in the proposed budget, but the committee shifted funds within the department to allocate $10,000 for the position. The committee added $10,000 in revenues to the budget under the gun permits line item to offset the addition of that position. Union County Sheriff’s Office office manager Cathie Falck said the number of gun permits has increased drastically — nearly doubling — in the past year and does not show signs of slowing.
The budget committee also decided to allocate funding for two projects presented to them at the meeting. The committee allocated $15,000 for the City of Cove’s bridge replacement near Hibbler and Rose streets, contingent that the city first look into Oregon Department of Transportation grants for small cities.
The committee also allocated $5,500 for the Special Transportation Fund Committee/Community Connection for Saturday service, assuming Community Connection is awarded the grant for the project.
Frank Thomas of Community Connection said with all matching funds in place from Island City, the City of La Grande and Union County, he is just waiting to hear on the grant.
A public hearing on the county budget will be held at 8:30 a.m. June 26 before the budget is adopted.