Klamath County works to meet tight budget

Klamath County, Ore. – Klamath County is putting the finishing touches on a budget for the upcoming year.

Klamath County has been looking at ways to cover a shortfall of three and a half million dollars.

“The general fund only has about seventeen and a half million dollars total.”  Explains Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot.  “So that three and a half million dollar deficit, that’s quite a big gap to fill.”

Public safety accounts for nearly two-thirds of the county budget – and the commissioners haven’t ruled out asking voters to approve a public safety levy.

“That’s being tossed around right now.”  Notes DeGroot.  “Whenever you have these short runs, eventually something has to give.”

Klamath County has been tapping into road department reserves to help make ends meet for the past few years.

DeGroot cautions that’s not a practice the county wants to continue.  “The majority of our bridges are over 70 years old.  Eventually, we’re going to have to address those – and if these funds are gone, we won’t be able to.”

To help make ends meet, the county department heads have been asked to make 3% cuts across the board.

The budget will also include about $1,670,000 in road funds.

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