Board Approves Lane County Budget

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EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County’s spending is set for another year.

Commissioners adopted their new budget of $492 million Tuesday morning, and it adds some services.

Lane County commissioners say the simple fact they unanimously approved the new budget is something that doesn’t happen very often. Because of that, Commissioner Chair Pat Farr he says he feels good about this next fiscal year.

“The process was a little bit easier this year. Last year, we had to debate where the cuts were going to be made. This year we didn’t have to have that same debate,” Farr said.

Farr says no significant cuts are planned for this fiscal year, but that won’t be the case in the near future.

“That being said, we do anticipate that next year that we’re going to go back into the cutting phase, cutting mode unless something significant happens as far as revenue is concerned,” Farr said.

Farr says the budget, which goes into effect July 1, comes with add-ons at the county level, such as funding three existing positions at the district attorney’s office.

“Adding positions in the DA’s office will allow for more prosecution of crime, so we’ll see more people being prosecuted by the DA staff,” Farr said.

Farr believes this goes well hand-in-hand with the levy passed last year to add more jail beds to the Lane County Jail. That isn’t the only benefit commissioners say comes with the newly adopted budget. Farr says another addition coming will give more people who need health services.

“We’re adding a new federally approved health center, federally qualified health center that’s receiving help from Trillium to fund that,” Farr said.

He says two staff positions are also being added to the health and human services department. Overall, Farr feels good about the new budget.

“A unanimous decision–you don’t get that very often, so it’s very pleasing to see all the hands raised at the end of the day,” Farr said.

Farr says unanimous decisions like this don’t happen often, and he anticipates next year’s budget decision won’t have the same unanimous votes, but commissioners say they will do their best for the county.

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