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Jackson County: Gov. Brown not giving 'our fair share' of CARES Act funding

Officials with Jackson County say that local funding provided by the CARES Act has only gone to Portland, Multnomah and Washington counties.

Posted: May 1, 2020 9:29 AM
Updated: May 1, 2020 5:51 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Officials with Jackson County are calling on Governor Kate Brown to distribute CARES Act funding to local agencies, claiming that the only major funding distributed so far has gone to Oregon's urban areas.

“The cities, counties, businesses and people in Oregon have done an amazing job of doing what they have been asked to do in order to meet the statewide guidelines put in place by Governor Kate Brown,” said Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts, “Jackson County has been doing our part on our own dime with the anticipation that the first wave of the Coronavirus Relief Fund CARES Act, Title V funding would be reallocated to local governments in our county as intended by Congress.”

According to the County, $1.635 billion from the CARES Act went to Oregon for local relief efforts. Hundreds of millions went to the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington counties directly — but Governor Brown is responsible for distributing the rest to less populated cities and counties in the state.

“The City of Portland, Multnomah County and Washington County received their money and we should be receiving some as well,” said Commissioner Rick Dyer. “At a recent Zoom meeting I asked Governor Brown directly if she intended to distribute the rest of the funds to local governments including Jackson County. Even though she acknowledged the desperate need for the funding, she expressed no intention to provide it.”

Jackson County has seen significantly fewer cases than areas around Portland and Salem, but County officials say they've seen major financial expenses from the coronavirus response regardless.

The County listed the following areas as sources of lost revenue:

  • Community Justice - Loss of approximately $27,000 per month due to reduced fees brought in for federal beds, transitional housing, work release, supervision, home detention and more.
  • Development Services - Estimated loss of over $300,000 per month due to the reduction in building permit and land use applications submitted.
  • Fairgrounds and the Expo - Estimated loss of almost $800,000 due to canceled events, camping revenue and more.
  • Health and Human Services - Loss of approximately $20,000 per month in Animal Services due to reduced adoptions and donations; and approximately $15,000 per month in Public Health due to reduced immunizations being provided.
  • Roads and Parks - Approximate loss of over $1,609,000 through June based on Oregon Department of Transportation's gas tax estimates; in County Parks, an estimated loss of $190,000 per month from March through May, and $150,000 per month from June through September.
  • Sheriff - Estimated monthly loss of over $116,000 due to reduced traffic fines, impounded vehicles, and concealed handgun licenses.

Jackson County also listed the following unbudgeted expenses due to COVID-19:

  • Approximately $45,000 of additional IT equipment needed to support the Emergency Operations Center and provide physical distancing by telework, telecare, and virtual meetings.
  • Over $50,000 per month is being spent to provide additional janitorial services and supplies, including protective equipment and sanitizing supplies.
  • Labor costs directly related to COVID-19 are expected to be well over $ 1,475,000.

“This assistance was partially intended for local governments. It is not acceptable that a few chosen metropolitan jurisdictions receive funding while rural areas are left to fend for themselves. Our citizens deserve better,” said Commissioner Bob Strosser, “Local government has and will continue to incur costs in our response to the coronavirus and desperately needs this funding to effectively respond and recover going forward.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
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