Commissioners hear from Library supporters

Library supporters filled the auditorium Wednesday to let their commissioners know how they felt about their libraries and offered their suggestions on possible funding alternatives. Many suggestions revolved around other taxing options to the citizens such as levies, special districts, taxes, reallocating non-dedicated monies, and utilizing existing county assets within the current county budget. The county administrator presented the following data: the libraries receive 9.73% of the $36 million general fund dollars, the Sheriff Department receives 70.43%, health and human services 5.68%, development services 9.73% and internal services 4.44%. Although closure could be on the horizon, the commissioners heard loud and clear from the citizens that they oppose the closure. Many attending the meeting identified themselves as library officials and urged the commissioners to give them adequate time to find a solution. However, since the eight-month closing of all libraries in 2007, alternative funding for a long-term solution is needed. The commissioners did not make a motion for a financing alternative for libraries at the public hearing.

There was a public hearing scheduled regarding a proposed ordinance to amend the county comprehensive plan to reclassify road listings in the Medford/White City area and allow Agate Road, south of Leigh Way, as a minor arterial. The public hearing will be Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm in the Courthouse Auditorium.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the administration’s request to cancel uncollectible real property, personal property, and mobile home taxes for the 2012-2013. There were about 500 billings under $5.00 each, creating a subsequent $448 expenditure.

A contract to handle the County’s worker’s comp was awarded to Cannon Cochran Management Services.

Jackson County and Shady Cove teamed up, once more, for an intergovernmental agreement for the county to maintain the parking lot that connects the City Hall and Library in Shady Cove. Mr. Skundrick said that he recently drove in, and this new parking lot was in excellent shape.

A memorandum of understanding was approved with the Community Health Center and the Oregon Health Authority. The Center of Disease Control will distribute immunizations to Jackson County as a “deputized” outlet for underinsured children. The administration asserted that there will be no financial impact and reimbursement will be covered through grant funding. Although requested by a commissioner, the administration had no information regarding the number of children this would impact.

Another intergovernmental agreement with the State of Oregon, Oregon Health Authority was approved for projected revenue of $293,108. This would create an administrative oversight for mental health care coordination. The administration was marginally vague as to the specifics of what this service would provide, however, the county narrative on their website stated that the Adult Mental Health Initiative was designed to promote the availability and quality of individualized community-based services so that adults with mental illness are served in the least restrictive environment possible and use of long-term institutional care is minimized.

 

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