Commissioners approve 2022-23 county budget

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker adopted the county’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year during a brief meeting Thursday morning, June 23.

The budget had previously been approved by the Budget Committee after four days of meetings in May at the Linn County Expo Center. That committee features, in addition to the commissioners, Jennifer Stanaway, Kerry Johnson and Mellissa Barnard.

County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins said that the budget commissioners were being asked to adopt was the same as approved by the Budget Committee, but with an additional $3 million for the Health Department, allocated by the State of Oregon. In all, the budget was for $224,627,296 with a tax rate of $1.2736 per $1,000 of property valuation.

The law enforcement levy, which is $2.98 per $1,000 of property value, helps fund the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office/Law Library and Juvenile Department.

Board Chairman Nyquist said he would vote in favor of the budget with the condition that commissioners receive more information about how the Health Department plans to use the funds, which the county hadn’t asked for. Commissioner Tucker said the state had recently distributed funds to all counties, focused in part on bolstering mental health program staffing. Administrative Officer Darrin Lane and Health Department Director Todd Noble will prepare an outline of how the funds will be utilized and present that information to the board before any money is expended.

The total general fund is $53,852,724, which includes a contingency of $1,199,266.

Immediately after the commissioners meeting, the 4-H & Extension Service District budget of $967,047 was approved with a tax rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of property valuation. Commissioner Nyquist thanked Michele Webster of the Extension Service for the staff’s work to support agriculture and 4-H programs.

Commissioner Sprenger added that the Extension Service casts a “broad net about what it does in our communities. It impacts nearly everyone and is an economic driver.”

The Board of Commissioners will not meet again in regular session until 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer