The regular July 10 board meeting was full with eight agenda items, two public hearings, and the discussion of the survey results on a jail surcharge.
Two public hearings received no citizen input: one for adopting the new building fee schedule and the other for discussion on the White City Boundary that was associated with amended ordinances.
The Commissioners and the Administrator provided lengthy discussion regarding the results of the survey on the county jail surcharge. The poll showed that the majority of citizens do not support a jail surcharge. The discussion quickly transformed from jail-surcharges to funding libraries. The majority of the financial shortfall that would have been covered by the jail surcharge falls into the library budget, with $5 million needed. Although the survey poll demonstrated that the public’s primary concern was to fund other services (sheriff, veterans services, health and human services) over the library, John Rachor offered a motion to drop the jail-surcharge and look for alternative ways to fund libraries. Only Commissioner Don Skundrick objected with a no vote. There were a variety of options tabled, however, the commissioners feel that any financial vote by the people would likely fail. Regarding this issue, Commissioner Rachor stated that sometimes the public doesn’t know what’s best for them.
Another financial hot topic for the citizens involves the fees required to do most anything in Jackson County. The semi-annual fee schedule changes were unanimously approved. The fee schedule can be found on the Jackson County Website (http://www.co.jackson.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=4005). There are approximately a dozen fees reduced on this schedule, however the increases were too numerous to count. There will be a public hearing on July 24 at 9:30 am at the County Courthouse Auditorium to discuss new fees, service charges, and the repeal and changes of other fees.
The commissioners approved two intergovernmental agreements with Shady Cove: one for the County Justice Court to handle some legal violations and the other for the purpose of delineating duties to enforce state building codes/inspections.
Susan Fischer, LLC received a county contract for $52,000 to serve as the liaison to the Early Learning Council with the State of Oregon. Paige Prewett received a county contract for $37,000 to manage the county’s SMARTWorks recycling program.
The Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with Josephine County to offer county housing for three delinquent youths. The resulting cost for additional staff and overhead for serving three youths is $147,825, which will be paid by Josephine County.
A contract was approved with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for 18 stream gauges operated by the Jackson County Watermasters office, bringing in $91,418, offsetting the cost of these operations.