Josephine County Moves Funds to Help Sheriff’s Office

By Steven Sandberg

GRANTS PASS, Ore, — The cash-strapped Sheriff’s Office of Josephine County is getting a little extra help.

This week, the County Budget Committee decided to move $425,000 from the Public Works Department’s million-dollar road fund to help may for three sheriff’s deputies this year.

The sheriff’s office says it helps slightly in the short term. It will allow there to be backup for Sheriff Gil Gilbertson. The Sheriff’s office will now have a total of six deputies on staff this year. But they warn that by this time next year, they may be right back where they started.

The decision to use the road fund comes more than a week after Josephine County voters turned down a multi-million dollar public safety tax levy.

But now other county departments are feeling the impact. Public Works says much of those road funds would have been used for road chip-sealing this summer. Now they will have to postpone that project. The department says it’s another setback after years of declining funding.

The Public Works director says the road funds were loaned to the Sheriff’s Office, and he hopes it will be paid back down the road.