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Lane County Approves Fiscal Year Budget

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EUGENE, Ore. — Last year Lane County was faced with 20 percent cuts across the board.

This year the numbers haven’t really moved, which Lane County commissioners say isn’t great news.

“The level of service we’re providing the citizens under this level of funding is not really adequate,” said Jay Bozievich, Lane County Commissioner.

The total adopted budget is just under $490 million dollars.

Lane County leaders say that’s a slight decrease, and it’s the fifth year in a row they’ve seen cuts.

“If that kind of gives you any indication yes it seems like a status quo budget but quite a few of our non-discretionary programs took cuts on the federal and state side,” said Bozievich.

Commissioner Bozievich says that’s a reflection of the federal and state budgets struggling and less gas tax incomes from a poor economy.

But it’s not all bad news.

With the passing of the public safety levy in May the county has some money to work with to add more jail beds and staffing.

“Especially with the sheriff’s department it takes a long time to do hiring so they’ve actually started ramping up on that pretty significantly,” said Anne Marie Levis, Lane County Spokeswoman.

“I just really appreciate the public giving us the opportunity to earn their trust and know that giving us that yes vote you know we’re going to follow-through and do what they wanted us to do,” said Bozievich.

He says it was a relatively easy process this time around and the public wasn’t as involved as last year.

“Either if we have money available and everybody wants their particular program to get that money or if we’re cutting money and they don’t want their program to be cut they want somebody else’s. With the status quo budget we approved this year there really wasn’t that motivation,” said Bozievich.

Lane County commissioners wanted to make it clear – the money you may see listed in the memorandum for each department isn’t really their choice.

It’s based on federal dollars that are already pre-determined by the state.

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