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Josephine County Finalizes Budget for Fiscal Year

By Sharon Ko

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County is finalizing cut backs in all departments before the new fiscal year kicks in this Sunday. Since March, county officials have been prepping for the new fiscal year. They made that budget plan assuming the criminal justice tax levy would not pass, which in the end it did not.

One cost-cutting option already happening is moving the sheriff’s office to the jail. The sheriff says with the low number of staff members the current building was no longer necessary. Staff will now handle finger printing, concealed weapons permits and court paperwork from the jail and patrol deputies will also work from there. The undersheriff also recently announced his retirement; he made about $127,000 that includes salary and benefits.

He will not be replaced, but the sheriff says he will assume the duties of the undersheriff. These changes are just a few of many taking place. The city is looking to take over the space where the sheriff’s office used to be. The sheriff says he already moved in a week ago to the jail and other staff members are following suit.