Lane County continues to deal with shortfalls

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Only half of Lane County’s nearly 14-hundred work force has indicated a willingness to make contract concessions and the Board of Commissioners are backing away from a plan that would force employees to take more than two unpaid weeks off in the coming year.

That means officials are going back to the drawing board in an effort to figure out how to balance their budget.  They’ve directed key managers to spend the next six weeks and come up with a plan to cut $800-thousand from the county’s $84-million general fund. The spending reductions will come on top of $7.8-million in cuts made to initially balance the budget in June.  That was before federal officials told them payments to the county in lieu of timber receipts would be about $1.2-million less than planned.

Initially it was feared the county would be about $3-million short but county budget manager Christine Moody told commissioners yesterday county departments were conservative in their spending last year, leaving more reserves.  Still, more than half of the $800-thousand shortfall is likely to come from the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office