The Douglas County Board of Commissioners is slated to hold a public hearing on the 2020-21 budget at its weekly meeting 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 216 of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 SE Douglas Ave. The final budget is expected to be adopted June 24.
The budget anticipates only modest changes overall, compared with the 2019-20 budget. Overall expenditures will decrease by $547,112, dropping from $164.78 million in 2019-20 to $164.23 million in 2020-21.
The budget includes the addition of 3.63 full-time equivalent staff, bringing the total number of county staff to 527.75.
Overall, the 2020-21 proposed budget calls for increases to personnel costs and other expenses to be offset by a decrease in planned capital expenditures.
Much of the county’s budget is made up of state and federal dollars with strings attached as to how it’s used.
The proposed general fund budget — the money the county is free to spend however it wants — is about $87 million, and would draw $7.8 million from the county’s reserves. Some of the biggest revenue sources for the general fund include $10.2 million in property taxes, $12.4 million in charges and fees, and $6.7 million in Secure Rural Schools funding.
Public safety continues to have the county’s largest group of employees, at 146.95 full-time equivalent positions. The budget for law enforcement personnel will remain largely the same, with the same number of patrol and corrections deputies as in the 2019-20 budget.
Public safety revenue from the county’s contract with the Oregon Department of Corrections is expected to decrease dramatically, a loss of $935,897 to the public safety budget. The state has said it wants to slash the number of inmates it sends to the county by half, dropping from 60 to 30.
That’s counterbalanced in the public safety budget mainly by an increase in general fund spending on public safety. The county’s general fund will contribute $9.5 million to the public safety budget, up $811,070 over last year.