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La Grande Observer Daily paper 10/24/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow PANEL TO EYE COUNTY BUDGET



The nearly $23 million proposed for Union County's upcoming budget contains few new expenditures for the next fiscal year.

The budget committee will consider the proposed 2002-03 budget during a meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the commissioners meeting room of the Joseph Annex.

Although the proposed budget is about $3 million higher than the current year's, most of the additional money is earmarked for rebuilding McAlister and Buchanan roads and cannot be used for other expenditures.

The county has also taken on the management of Buffalo Peak Golf Course, and a $711,000 budget has been proposed for that account. County budget officer Marlene Perkins said the golf course is supported by golf course revenues and about $200,000 in state economic development money.

The county is proposing $130,500 in transient room tax revenues and another $281,000 in lottery revenues.

Of the $23 million budget, $6.6 million will go to general fund expenses. The general fund comes from county property taxes and supports the sheriff's department, including the Union County jail; the assessor's office, the clerk's office, the planning department, the juvenile department, buildings and grounds, and the county commissioners. The sheriff's department will get the largest share, nearly $2.2 million, next year.

Perkins said that 1.5 positions will be added to the county workforce, a maintenance employee and a half-time assessor's office employee. Both positions fill jobs that were left vacant after retirements, she said.

An increase in federal payments to counties over the past year has given the county's public works department a shot in the arm, with federal forest fees expected to reach $625,000 next fiscal year. The total budget, which includes road maintenance, repair and construction and weed control, will equal $2.45 million.

— Alice Perry Linker


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