County’s Projected Revenue Down Again

EUGENE, Ore. — The county administrator has released next year’s budget. This is still a proposal, but the projected revenue is down again.

The proposed county budget is $466 million, which is down $34 million from the previous year. County leaders say they saw this coming and are working to consolidate funds.

The proposed budget notes county resources are down by close to 7 percent.

“We did have a significant decrease in funding coming to us this year,” said Anne Marie Levis, Lane County spokeswoman.

it’s the result of a loss in revenue from several areas, including federal timber payments. County leaders say the cuts forced them to consolidate programs.

“For instance, health and human services is now in charge of youth services and the children and families, as well as all of the health care for Lane County,” Levis said.

The county’s spokeswoman says some of that merging was done through efficiencies and last year the county took a 15 percent cut in all of its workforce. But county leaders say they were prepared for the cuts.

“Luckily with all of the work we did last year with our strategic planning and some of the innovate Lane County efficiencies, we’ve been able to see less cuts than we would normally,” Levis said.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is also taking a big hit from federal cuts. Its patrol will be reduced by 15 to 12 deputies. And if the levy doesn’t pass next month, the county says the jail will be reduced to 26 beds by next July. But in Lane County’s budget, the sheriff’s office won’t see much change.

“There have been some cuts, some significant cuts over the years, but in this budget it’s looking to stay about the same,” Levis said.

The federal cuts the sheriff’s office is seeing are also something Lane County schools will have to face. Timber payments have decreased by almost $3.5 million. But Springfield schools say they’re ready.

“We did know that the suns setting of the secure rural schools program after the current year was included, and so we’ve been working to plan for that this year and we’re working to right now to build our budget for next year and so these reductions aren’t a surprise to us,” said Devon Ashbridge, Springfield Schools spokeswoman.

This is only the proposed budget. The budget committee will receive the budget message from the Lane County administrator next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. A public hearing will be later that night at 7:30 p.m. for anyone who wants to weigh in on the budget.

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