MEDFORD, Ore. — A plan to fund the struggling Jackson County Jail may be dead in the water after a voter survey shows overwhelming opposition.
That survey was commissioned by Jackson County officials to get public opinion on a proposed surcharge. The surcharge was shot down in early polling 57% to 31%. It would have amounted to an expected $7 a person per month, totaling around $7 million in funding for the jail.
Without it, officials say they’ll have to tap into their rainy day general fund, meaning other things like veterans services, library, and OSU extension will see cuts.
“There will be reduced services, so people have to recognize that and that’s not a threat,” Jackson County Commissioner Don Skundrick says. “I don’t mean it at all like that, it’s just a reality check, that’s what will happen.”
Officials say the cost of supporting the jail next fiscal year will be around $7 million. That would leave $14 million, or two years worth left in the rainy day fund. Commissioners will discuss the surcharge and whether or not it will appear on the November ballot on July 10th.