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COUNTY OKS $48 MILLION BUDGET

By BILL LUNDQUIST

GOLD BEACH – A budget of $48,722,906 was officially adopted for fiscal year 2002-03 by the Curry County commissioners Wednesday.

In a break with previous years, the commissioners adopted the entire budget in one motion, instead of fund by fund.

Commissioner Marlyn Schafer said she checked with the state and found the budget could be adopted in its entirety.

Of the nearly $49 million, most is pass-through money from the federal and state governments dedicated to certain projects, like highways.

Total highway appropriations include $5,822,349 for the County Road Department fund and a $1,008,843 unappropriated balance, $76,590 for the bike and footpath reserve fund, $1,021,000 for the road equipment self-insurance fund, $14 million for the road capital improvement fund, and a $3,735,266 unappropriated balance.

That totals $25,664,048 for highways that can't be used for anything else.

Another large fund outside of the general fund is the Human Services fund with a $4,201,174 appropriation and a $102,524 unappropriated balance.

The Home Health/Hospice fund has a $1,624,813 appropriation and a $225,000 unappropriated balance.

The county school fund has a $1,195,035 appropriation. The Public Health fund, which is outside the general fund for the first time, has an appropriation of $771,716.

The entire county general fund is made up of $8,706,419 in appropriations, with a $1,091,336 unappropriated balance.

Of that, $3,256,144 goes to the Sheriff's Office. Other law enforcement offices include the district attorney, with $254,515, and the Juvenile Department, with $516,650. The county must also spend a lot just to track and collect property taxes. The Assessor's Office will receive $627,452, the Treasurer's Office $212,820, and the Board of Property Tax Appeals $12,021.

Administrative Services, which accounts for power, water, supplies and everything else county departments need to operate, will receive $626,855.

In all, more than $5.5 million of the general fund goes to law enforcement, tax collection and the cost of keeping the county buildings open.

The tax base of the county government is less than $1 million. All other revenue comes from state and federal funds, or is self-generated.

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