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Linn commissioners to consider $176.6 million budget
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Linn commissioners to consider $176.6 million budget

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LC courthouse

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, John Lindsey and Will Tucker will consider adoption of the FY 2020-21 budget at their June 30 meeting.

It was approved by the Budget Committee last week, after three days of deliberations at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center.

Members of the Budget Committee are the three commissioners plus Jennifer Stanaway, chair; Sherrie Sprenger, vice-chair; and Kerry Johnson.

The approved budget for all funds is $176,622,835 compared to the current budget of $167,813,246. The General Fund budget is $52,801, 299 compared to $47,602,508.

County Administrator Ralph Wyatt said a portion of the difference is the county budgeted potential pass through money to help pay for expenses incurred by the Health Department due to the coronavirus pandemic. The budget also reflects a $10 million loan from the Road Department, for the purchase of the former International Paper plant in Millersburg. The county plans to sell about 60 acres of the property to the Albany Millersburg Economic Development Corporation, for development of a intermodal transportation facility. Those funds, about $7 million, will come from the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

The budget reflects almost three fewer positions and a total of 661 for the coming fiscal year.

Wyatt said the budget includes funds to replace the roof on the Hurd building in downtown Albany, upgrade the courthouse and 911 phone systems, paint the Armory building and purchase some vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office.

Wyatt told Linn County elected officials at their monthly meeting Wednesday that although there are numerous unknowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, this was a relatively easy budget to put together.

“There’s a great deal of uncertainty, but all of you put in very rational requests and that made this very easy,” Wyatt said.

He added there will not be any PERS rate increases this year and no increases for health care premiums. In fact, the county’s insurer is rebating one month’s premium.

“And, we will receive some federal forest money for another year,” Wyatt said.

Increasing property values and tax revenues, plus a projected reduction in tax compression were positive factors for the General Fun and Law Enforcement Levy, Wyatt said. 

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