UC Budget Committee gives green light spending plan

·2 min read

May 28—UNION COUNTY — Union County's proposed 2021-22 budget, which doesn't call for personnel or program cuts and adds five law enforcement officers, is now one step from being adopted.

The Union County Budget Committee unanimously voted Wednesday, May 26, to recommend that a total budget of $50.01 million be adopted for 2021-22. The vote came after the second day of meetings by the Union County Budget Committee, where department heads discussed the operation and funding of departments.

The budget committee did not recommend any changes in the proposed spending plan.

The $50.01 million budget is about $1 million less than the current year's budget. The primary reason is that a number of grant-funded projects have been completed in 2020-21, such as work at the La Grande/Union County Airport.

The five law enforcement officers who would be added under the proposed budget include four corrections officers who are needed because the Union County Jail is understaffed, according to Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen.

The Union County Board of Commissioners will vote on adoption of the proposed budget at its next meeting. It must adopt a 2021-22 budget by June 30.

Alex McHaddad, chair of the Union County Budget Committee, said Union County is in solid financial condition, and he credits its staff with doing a good job of putting the budget together.

"I feel very good," he said.

McHaddad also said the budget indicates the elected officials who helped put the spending plan together kept their campaign promises because the programs they voiced support for prior to being elected are set to receive solid funding.

Dick Mason is a reporter with The Observer primarily covering the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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