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Clatsop County’s proposed budget for the upcoming year features a “cautiously optimistic” outlook for the county’s financial condition.

The 2017-18 fiscal year budget projects healthy tax and timber revenues, and adds five new positions, three of them in the Sheriff’s Office.

The proposed budget will be presented to the county Budget Committee for review and approval Tuesday, May 9 at 9 a.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria. Public comment will be taken. If needed, the committee’s deliberations will be continued toWednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

The budget committees for the four service districts under the county’s jurisdiction – 4-H & Extension Service District, Road District #1, Rural Law Enforcement District and Westport Sewer Service District – will meetWednesday, May 10 at 5 p.m. at the same location to review their respective budgets.

The Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on all five budgetsJune 14.

The proposed budget shows an overall increase of 13 percent, to $65,096,220, over the current budget. Much of the increase is attributed to a change in how various contingency funds are budgeted, but the change also reflects the added staff positions, overall salary adjustments and rate increases for the PERS state pension program.

Most revenue sources are projected to remain consistent, including state timber dollars, which are forecast to total almost $4.45 million, the same as this year.

“The short-term outlook for the General Fund continues to be more optimistic than has been the case for the past few years,” Budget and Finance Director Monica Steele said in the document’s Budget Message. “Our revenue projections for the coming year are based on the assumption that the economy continues to see improvements while continuing to remain cautiously optimistic.”

The budget adds an additional detective position in the Sheriff’s Office, as well as staffing for a new alternative custody program and a boost in support personnel to free deputies from various administrative tasks.

The other new positions are a new permit technician in the Community Development Department and an additional Information Services position.

The new positions bring the county’s total fulltime equivalent (FTE) workforce to just over 213.

The entire proposed budget can be viewed online at www.co.clatsop.or.us.


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