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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow No reduction in services under county budget

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No reduction in services under county budget

Union County goes into fiscal year 2012-13 with almost $5 million less than in 2011-12, but services will remain essentially the same.

That’s the substance of the budget message from Budget Officer Shelley Burgess as the board of commissioners and appointed citizens get set to convene the annual budget hearing at 4 p.m. today. 

Burgess said the proposed overall budget is for $32.5 million — a sum $4.8 million below 2011-12 — but the reduction is mainly due to completion of grant projects, grant expirations and reduction in state revenues. No significant cuts in services are planned.

Burgess is submitting a proposed general fund budget of $8.9 million, a little under the requested $9 million. She said adjustments were made reducing proposed expenditures to fit within revenue available.

“The proposed budget reflects a maintenance-of-service philosophy with the objective of continuing the current level of county services and allowing a limited number of equipment purchases to support those services,” Burgess said, adding that some wind energy funds are proposed to be transferred to cover one-time expenditure requests.

One project covered by the transferred wind energy tax revenue would be an upgrade or replacement of the district attorney’s case management computer system.

The current system is outdated and EONI, the county’s computer services provider, is recommending a major overhaul. The DA’s office needs $35,700 to complete the upgrade. As proposed, wind energy revenue would cover $30,000 of the expense.

Burgess said the majority of the 47 other funds in the budget are similar to amounts in previous years.

Though some grant projects have been completed and some grant funding has expired, the proposed 2012-13 budget includes a wide range of grant-funded projects, one of the largest being the $5.9 million airport runway overlay project funded mainly by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Other major projects in 2012-13 include completion of $2.2 million in Pierce Road improvements funded by the Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, and the $1.5 million airport safety improvement project also funded by the FAA.

The Mount Emily Recreation Area stands to get about $244,500 in state and federal grants. The funding will help pay for construction of upper and lower Igo Lane parking areas, trailhead additions or upgrades, a cultural resource study and more.

Tuesday’s budget hearing will be in the commissioners’ conference room, 1106 K Ave. 

The hearing takes place before Union County Commissioners Bill Rosholt, Steve McClure and Mark Davidson, and budget committee members Lanny Hildebrant, Dale Case and Kyle McAndie.

It opens with election of a chairman, presentation of the budget message and overview, followed by presentations from department heads, elected officials and others who have submitted funding requests.

Those scheduled to appear before the board and budget committee include Public Works Director Doug Wright, District Attorney Tim Thompson, Curt Mattson and Patrick Smith of USDA Predator Control, Rico Webber of the Center for Human Development and Travis Miller of Community Corrections.

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