Walden Questions Administration on Surprise Cuts on O & C Funding
U.S. Representative Greg Walden has demanded answers from the Interior Department and the Office of Budget and Management about a decision to apply a ten percent cut to last year’s county payment that Congress authorized and funded for 18 Oregon and California Railroad counties in western and southern Oregon including Jospehine, Jackson and Klamath.
Interior Department officials reasoned the cuts were caused by across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect. However, according to Walden’s office, these payments are from the 2012 federal budgetary fiscal year, not subject to those cuts.
The Forest Service provided its portion of the county payments to states with no such problems. Furthermore, Congress has already delayed the impacts of the across-the-board cuts for a short period this year, so they still have not taken effect.
According to the County Financial Officer, Rosemary Padgett, the county will receive 90 percent of title one moneys that is used to fund public safety, “The general dollars that we use for public safety will have a reduction of approximately $221,000. What will happen is, because the previous board kept most of that money, didn’t allocate it this year, but kept it for carry over for next budget year, it will reduce the money available for public safety by the $221,000.”
That translates to about two sheriff’s deputies in fiscal year 2013-14.