Josephine County banking last timber money

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — One of Oregon's rural counties struggling with declining federal timber payments has decided to bank what may be the final infusion of federal safety net money rather than make room for more crooks in the jail.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports Josephine County commissioners voted 2-1 Wednesday to save almost all the $4.7 million authorized by Congress to use next year.

There had been talk about using $500,000 to open up more room in the jail, which has been cut back to just 30 beds for local use since taxpayers turned down a tax increase for public safety.

Commissioner Simon Hare said he couldn't support spending the money when the sheriff's office has failed to get the federal government to pay a higher rate for renting jail beds.

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