City Projects May be Cut for Jail Beds

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — City council is looking to sign a half a million dollar contract to rent more jail beds from the Josephine County jail.

Councilors are looking to cut several city projects if they go through with the contract. One of those projects to cut is the Fruitdale Creek trail. For trail users, the pathway could come to a dead end.

“We had an opportunity to do the portion of the Fruitdale Creek trail. The north end and the south end and now we’re coming to the middle,” said Community Development director, Michael Black.

Other projects to cut on the list could impacts kids. The city was working to build trails near schools.

“To make the schools more accessible by kids walking, parents dropping off  their kids at different locations and they could get a little bit of exercise,” explained Black.

City events could also come to a halt. Officials planned a 5k run and a health fair event. Councilors are also looking at other options to pay for the contract. They could dip into the general fund or set a jail fee residents will have to pay in addition to their utility fee.

“There’s a number of different legs you can utilize to fund this contract and it  could be that council will come up with  a hybrid approach where they utilize  some general fund contingency and  reduction in a couple of projects,” said city manager, Aaron Cubic.

Cubic says the city projects that may be cut are funded by what’s called “one-time dollars”. This means that money will not be available again for those projects in the future, unless the city can save up money again in the general fund.

The city council will make a decision with the 30 jail bed contract on Wednesday.