MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff is relieved voters approved a three-year operating levy for the jail in the special election, especially after voting down a similar measure, last fall. "I've been going out, knocking on doors, going to committees, going to different events, just to tell people," says Sheriff Jim Adkins.
He talked with KBND News shortly after ballots were counted, Tuesday, saying he appreciates the community support, "We'll be able to continue on with the jail operations as we are currently doing today. We'll be able to maintain the current staffing without having to lay anybody off, so I'm very relieved." He adds, "We run 12-hour shifts, and each shift has a minimum of three deputies on, so we'll be able to maintain that; and we'll be able to still house the same number of inmates, and I have a whole bunch of relieved employees."
Adkins was concerned about losing revenue when Crook County opens its new jail and stops renting beds at the Madras facility. "This will give us, also, the opportunity to show everybody in Jefferson County that we'll be able to operate an efficient jail with Crook County leaving us." The property tax levy adds 15-cents per $1,000 of assessed value
In November, voters defeated a larger five-year levy. This three-year levy for $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value is 15-cents more than the current rate that expires next month. Adkins has about two years before he has to start campaigning for the next levy. But, he says, he'd like to come up with a more stable funding source, "You know, everybody's getting tired of taxes. How much more of this can we take? So we're going to have to figure out, hopefully we can come up with a plan that's sustainable and good for everybody."