The Douglas County Budget Committee will begin meeting Monday to discuss the county government’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget. The proposed $138.7 million budget would dip lightly into the reserves, to the tune of $9 million, and reduce the number of county employees from 538 to 525.

This year’s budget is about $200,000 higher than the 2016-17 budget approved last June, but takes less than the $11 million budgeted out of the reserves last year.

The budget committee will meet in Room 216 of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg, at 9 a.m. both Monday and Tuesday and ending around 5 p.m. each day. The meetings will be streamed online at ustream.tv/channel/douglascountyoregon

Monday’s meeting begins with the annual budget message, followed by discussion of the sheriff’s budget. Budgets will be addressed department by department over the course of the two days. Public comment will be taken.

This budget will for the first time include no direct funding for the library system, though some money will be allocated for maintenance of the Roseburg library building. A year ago, the libraries had the equivalent of 17.5 full-time employees. The sheriff’s department remains the county’s biggest under this budget proposal, with the equivalent of 145.5 full-time employees. Public works is the second biggest, with 75 employees.

This budget for the first time separates out the solid waste department, which was formerly part of the public works department. Solid waste is the third largest department, with 30 employees.

This year’s general fund budget would be $64.7 million, just above last year’s $64.5 million. The biggest budgeting challenge remains the loss of timber revenues and safety net funds that formerly made up the bulk of the general fund.

The public safety fund budget is $24.7 million, including all of the approximately $9 million the county will receive in property taxes. The tax rate remains $1.11 per $1,000 of property value, one of the lowest rates in the state.

A copy of the proposed budget is available at the Douglas County Courthouse, Room 301, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. It’s also available online at co.douglas.or.us, as is a copy of the budget meetings schedule.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213.cegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(5) comments

nr77
nr77

Why does the proposed new commissioners own budget show astronomical increases in travel, mileage reimbursement, and materials & supplies. Read the budget yourself, and compare to two years ago and prior. Every other department cut their budget. Very disappointing to see their submission.

PickNGrin
PickNGrin

Funding for general travel remains same at $35K. It looks like they don't plan to use county vehicles ($7K to $0) but instead get reimbursed ($20K) for mileage on their personal vehicles. More info is at: http://www.co.douglas.or.us/finance/documents/2018/FY18_Proposed_budget.pdf

nr77
nr77

Comparing only to last year, you are correct. The budget show two years prior and back it was 11-12K so they got about a 300% increase last year, and want it again. That's the issue here, why such big increases when all other departments are told to cut costs. Because general travel tripled last year doesn't mean it should remain at that level. Just doesn't seem like they do what they ask others to do, which is trim costs. Very disappointing.

just me
just me

they are all going to places we can only dream of

PickNGrin
PickNGrin

Aren't the county's reserves still about $50 million? About $2 million in the county budget was saved closing eleven public libraries. I wonder if anyone can tell us the real costs (direct & indirect) will be to our local communities and economy as a result of that decision.

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