Inmates to be charged for medical

Fees for county services were increased across the board at the Dec. 7 weekly business session of the Josephine County Commissioners.
As is customary, two separate public hearings were held at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium-set meeting in the matter of uniform procedure for setting fees – one for the animal shelter, assessor’s office, fairgrounds and sheriff’s office; the other for community development – due to the latter department having different parameters for fees than other departments.
“As inflation comes for all these departments, we’re gonna have trouble covering the costs, so these fee raises totally make sense to me,” said Commissioner Darin Fowler.
JoCo Finance Director Sandy Novak joined the commissioners to run through the highlights of the new fee schedule.
“In accordance with Board Order 2000-025 adopted March 13 of 2000, the fee changes were presented to the Board of County Commissioners Thursday, Nov. 10 and the hearing was set for today,” Novak recounted.
“Proposed fee changes are: For animal shelter, adoption fees for dogs and cats, both young and old, increased by $10 and by $25 for puppies, to come closer to the minimum cost of preparing these pets for adoption,” Novak said. “The assessor’s office: the increased partition plat and subdivision processing fees, from $50 to $70, and creates fees for taxpayer requests as well as new taxing district formations; and then fairgrounds: Increased rentals and associated charges for fair facilities; and in the jail: Creating inmate prescription fees of $5 as well as inmate-initiated sick call medical provider copays.”
Fowler commented, “These fees, especially animal control, it’s hard to balance the cost of it with keeping it affordable for people to adopt. I totally get that balance so I’m glad we’re marching in the right direction but not trying to jump and cover all costs, because that could be a shocker and less people would adopt.”
Board Chair Herman Baertschiger added, “I’m saddened to put this proposal out there, but given the hyperinflation we are experiencing, like I’ve said all along, inflation is good for no one, especially for government and all the things we do. This is just something we have to do.”
During the proceeding hearing on fee changes for the community development department, two fees were revealed to be doubling – the development permit for multiple structures is increasing from $150 to $300 and the fee for appealing a decision without a hearing is increasing from $250 to $500. In addition, a new fee for onsite septic of $85 per hour has been created.