County approves $229M fiscal year budget

Linn County commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker approved adoption of the 2023-24 fiscal-year budget Thursday morning, June 29.

The budget had previously been approved by the county’s budget committee, which consists of the commissioners, plus community members Jennifer Stanaway, Kerry Johnson and Mellissa Barnard.

As presented by county treasurer Michelle Hawkins, the budget will be $229,395,213. The general fund tax levy will be $1.2736 per $1,000 of property valuation, with the law enforcement levy at $2.98 per $1,000.

The only major change between the time the proposed budget was approved and its adoption was shifting $400,000 from the contingency fund to the Linn County Department of Health Services to coincide with returning a portion of the county’s Information Services (IT) Department from a central courthouse location to the health-department complex.

In other business, the commissioners approved an updated fee schedule that covers county services charges, from a single photocopy to the use of picnic shelters at Linn County Parks.

Earlier that week, Sprenger and Tucker adopted the 2023-24 4-H and Extension Service budget. Nyquist was not present that day.

The budget will be $1,006,097, with a tax rate of seven cents per $1,000 of property valuation. It was previously approved by the 4-H and Extension Service District Budget Committee. The budget includes materials and services ($850,546), capital outlay ($98,551), transfers ($22,000) and a contingency fund ($35,000). It was scheduled to be adopted June 29.

In other business Tuesday, June 27, the commissioners:

♦ Approved a permanent easement at Goldfish Farm Road for $15,453 with Thomas A. and Mary J. Fields.

♦ Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Health Authority not to exceed $738,232. This is an extension to a previous agreement for the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative to provide sign-on bonuses for new Behavioral Health Clinical staff. The agreement expires June 30, 2024.

♦ Approved an extension of the fire-hardening grant program to assist Santiam Canyon property owners rebuilding after the September 2020 wildfires. The grant money is used to help them purchase and install fire-resistant building materials.

♦ Were told by Juvenile Director Torri Lynn that his department is seeing an uptick in youth. Last month, there were six young people from Benton County, 24 from Linn and four from Lincoln. He reported 38 referrals and 195 young people in the Probation Unit, 36 of whom were considered high-risk. The Tier I work crew finished 91.25 hours of community service in nine project days. In 2022, five youth completed 66.25 hours of community service in the same time period. Nine youths on the Tier II work crew completed 177.75 hours of projects in nine project days, compared to 18 completing 395 during the same time period last year.

♦ Approved a $175 day rate with Marion County if beds are needed. The county had a similar contract last year and did not use any beds. A contract with Benton County was approved for four beds at the Linn Benton Juvenile Detention Center at $305.12 per day. Benton will be billed quarterly, $111,413.75, or $445,655 total. A contract was approved with Dr. Daniel Mosher to provide medical services, not to exceed $76,800.

The commissioners did not meet Tuesday, July 4.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer