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Lane County Commissioners vote to add public safety levy renewal to May ballot

Lane County Commissioners, February 7, 2023
Lane County Commissioners, February 7, 2023

Lane County voters will decide in May whether to extend a public safety levy. County Commissioners voted unanimously today to put a renewal of the five-year measure on the ballot.

The levy first passed in 2013, and voters renewed it in 2017. It helps fund the jail and its mental health services, as well as youth services for juvenile offenders.

Commissioner Laurie Trieger responded to public comments about whether the county could better redirect its resources, saying, “There simply aren’t enough resources is the problem. It really shouldn’t be a zero sum game. So our job is to put before the voters the opportunity to invest in better services for Lane County, and then communicate with the voters about how this benefits everyone.”

County officials say the tax rate would remain the same if the levy is renewed.

The levy will bring in about $19 million dollars this year, and expires at the end of June.

The funds from the levy help maintain the county’s 255 jail beds and eight youth detention beds, and cover 78% of the cost of mental health services at the jail.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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