By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

County feels little of O&C pain

“We never relied on that money, nor did we get as large a share as some of the counties looking at dire budget predictions,” said Yamhill County Administrator Laura Tschabold. Since the county never received a significant portion of O&C revenue, it never became dependent on that revenue to fund vital services, she said.

She said a move made by the commissioners five years ago also helped insulate the county from harm.

Previously, the county had simply added O&C revenue to its discretionary holdings, making it available for a wide range of ongoing operating needs. Instead, the commissioners decided to begin funneling it into a reserve account instead and limiting it to use on one-time expenditures.

Over the years, that account has helped fund implementation of a habitat conservation plan, retained of a pre-trial release officer until permanent funding could be secured and support purchase of buses for the transit authority.

The county received $155,000 in O&C money last year, as the program wound down. It is not expecting any this year.

Because receipts have significantly surpassed expenditures in recent years, the fund balance currently exceeds $1.35 million, as department heads begin  preparing their budgets for presentation to the county budget committee in May.

The county expects to complete the process prior to the June 30 end of its 2012-13 fiscal year. It is scheduled to hold a public hearing on its proposed 2013-14 budget at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 20, in Room 32 at the courthouse.

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