JoCo initiates sheriff district formation

By CJ Schatza IVN copy editor

With a funding crisis on the horizon for the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the JoCo Board of Commissioners set a public hearing to consider a law enforcement service district at its June 22 weekly business session.
Days earlier, Commissioner Dan DeYoung went before the Grants Pass City Council to detail a proposed 3% sales tax that would run from April 15 through Oct. 15 each year, with the revenues shared with the cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction.
Other options being considered include a local option levy, a payroll tax, franchise fees and a utility fee. Whatever potential solution is eventually settled on will need voter approval before implementation. November is being eyed by the commissioners for the service district, and the GP City Council is still considering a letter of support for the sales tax.
Also at the June 22 meeting, the board approved the supplemental budget for fiscal year 2021-22. Several departments needed to spend more money than was budgeted for, including the sheriff’s office, community corrections, jail, public health, fairgrounds and parks.
An agreement between Josephine County and Julie Dowell was entered into which saw Dowell become caretaker of a property recently acquired by the county.
According to JoCo Real Property Manager Helene Lulich, “The property at 395 W. Jones Creek Rd was acquired through property tax foreclosure in April 2022. This agreement would allow the tenants (family) on the property to stay as caretakers on a month-to-month term.”
The agreement will continue until the county terminates it.
Another property-related agenda item was dealt with at the meeting as well.
“This order authorizes the private sale of county surplus property on NE Greenfield Rd.,” wrote Lulich in the agenda packet. “The property was acquired by the county in 1913 (net by foreclosure for nonpayment of property tax) and is not in use for county purposes. The property was offered for sale to neighboring properties through a closed bid process.”
For a price of $500, the property was described as, “A strip of land 20 feet wide, containing 2/3 acres, more or less, acquired by Josephine County on September 4, 1913, from Cathrine E. Caulfield and William J. Caulfield.”
The purchasers are Barry J. Stone and Susan Ann Stone.
A quitclaim deed was signed to transfer the property.
During the week of Fourth of July, the county commissioners are expected to conclude the transfer of Sportsman Park to JCSA, deliberate a ballot measure regarding psilocybin use by physicians in Josephine County, and continue discussions surrounding securing long-term funding for the sheriff’s office.