Officials Decide What to Do With $4.6 Million

, Posted: Wed, August 15 2012 at 4:45 PM, Updated: Wed, August 15 2012 at 5:12 PM

Josephine County has an extra 4.6 million federal dollars to dole out and on Wednesday they made a decision on what to do with it.

The money is coming from a one year extension of timber funds.

"I will make a motion that we take 3.9 million to put into the reserve for carryover for fiscal year 2013-2014," said Commissioner Simon Hare during the morning meeting.

The motion passed 2-1. It wasn't an easy decision considering much of the county is already struggling.

After a failed tax levy and dwindling federal money, Josephine County has slashed jail beds and deputies causing criminals to walk free.

"I'm frustrated," began Hare.

"I have relatively little money to do what I think we need to do [... ]Everybody is needing something," he said.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said while more money for the criminal justice system in Josephine County would be good, he's okay with the board's decision.

"I have to agree, if we don't keep some for next year, i'll end up laying more people off and that will only decimate this community," said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.

Residents said they also agreed with the commissioner's line of thinking.

"I think the commissioners were right. Let's keep it at the same level it is right now. Although I am in favor of giving the Sheriff a little more support," said resident Vivianne Kirkpatrick-Pilger, who also attended the meeting.

After putting $3.9 million away, the roughly $700,000 left over still has yet to be doled out.  But Commissioner Hare said some of the money will most likely go toward adding jail beds.

It's expected the Board of Commissioners will vote on exactly how to allocate that extra money on Wednesday, August 29th at 9am in the Anne Basker Auditorium. The public is free to attend.

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