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Deschutes County out with $308.9 million budget


Deschutes County released its $308.9 million proposed 2016 fiscal year budget on Friday — up less than $450,000 from the current year, but including about 22 new positions amid a recovering economy and a higher countywide law enforcement property tax rate, though still below the maximum authorized.

“After several difficult years brought on by the economic downturn and the resulting plight of the development and real estate market in Central Oregon, the FY 2016 budget proposal reflects the third year of significant improvement in regional and state economies,” the announcement said.

Here’s the rest of the news release, in full:

Highlights from the 2016 County Proposed Budget include:

General fund property tax revenue is expected to increase over $1,000,000 in FY 2016 above what the County expects to realize in FY 2015. The assumption driving this is an increase of 5% in assessed value for the County.
The proposed budget includes a net staffing increase of 22.3 FTE. This includes the addition of 5.0 FTE for the expanded Jail and a Patrol Deputy, and 5.0 FTE for 9-1-1 in accordance with the Service District’s strategic plan. As a result of expanding client population and increased demands for service, the budget also includes the following additional personnel: 3.0 FTE in Health Services, 2.0 FTE for Community Development, 2.0 FTE for the Assessor’s office, 2.0 FTE for Parole & Probation, 1.5 FTE for Property and Facilities, 1.0 FTE for Veterans’ Services, 1.0 FTE for the Victim’s Assistance program, and 1.0 in Personnel.
The County’s 9-1-1 Center is undergoing a number of changes that affect the FY 2016 proposed budget and will improve the delivery of services to County residents and first responders for years to come. A strategic plan has been developed for 9-1-1 operations as well as consolidation of the 9-1-1 communications systems used by various agencies in the County into a single system to be operated by the County 9-1-1 Center. As a result of the adoption of the strategic plan, staffing in the 9-1-1 Center increased by 6.0 positions in FY 2015, and the FY 2016 proposed budget includes another 5.0 new positions.
Capital projects in the proposed budget include completion of Skyliners Road reconstruction at $927,100, Powell Butte Hwy./Neff/Alfalfa intersection at $2,250,000, improvements to the Burgess/Day Road intersection at $500,000. Also included are upgrades to Health Department facilities in Bend and Redmond at $1,050,000.
The Sheriff’s property tax levy rate for the Rural Law Enforcement District remains unchanged for FY 2016, but the rate for the Countywide Law Enforcement District is being increased by seven cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, primarily to cover operational expenses associated with the newly expanded County Jail. This would be the first increase in the District tax since it was adopted in 2006. The proposed County-wide rate of $1.02 per thousand is still below the maximum authorized rate of $1.25.
The total FY 2016 Proposed Budget is $308,993,011 compared to $308,547,592 in FY 2015 for an increase of 0.1%. The FY 2016 Proposed Operating Budget is $240,179,749, compared to $255,878,525 in FY 2015 for a decrease of 6.1%. Although total salaries and benefits are proposed to increase by $3,343,475, this is offset by reductions in materials and supplies, capital expense and debt service.

As the FY 2016 proposed budget was nearing completion, the Oregon Supreme Court issued their long-awaited opinion of the 2013 legislative changes to the Public Employment Retirement System included in SB 822. Possible changes to the proposed budget as a result of that opinion will be discussed during budget deliberations.

The Deschutes County Budget Committee (Commissioners, Bruce Barrett, Clay Higuchi and Mike Maier) convenes May 26-29; the public is welcome to attend. The public hearing and final budget deliberations are scheduled for Monday, June 22. Budget meetings, public hearing and final deliberations will be held at the Deschutes Services Center building, 1300 NW Wall St. in Bend.

To review the entire proposed budget document for 2016, please click on this link or send email to , or call (541) 388-6536.

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