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Coos Bay Government and Politics STOCK

COQUILLE — Coos County Commissioners held round two of preliminary budget hearings for the 2018-2019 fiscal year Tuesday morning.

This series of meetings featured Coos County's biggest contributor to the general fund, the Coos County Forestry Department. This year, the forestry department hopes to bring in $4 million in timber sales alone.

The forestry department replants several acres of trees each year with a 40-year turn around for timber sales. This year they will be planting trees in over 584 acres at a cost of $80 an acre.

One hope for the revenue earned from the forestry department is to repair some of their roads. They’ve set aside $7,500 this coming budget year for new rock on their roads. Many of the forestry roads are not paved roads and are able to be made out of rock for cheap.

The parks department has budgeted to upgrade around 30 campsites at Riley Ranch. They hope to get a grant from state parks to improve the campsites by adding electricity to make them RV sites.

The parks department has also changed its reservation system to be more user friendly.

“Now when you go to check in, you actually see a matrix of dates that are available instead of just choosing specific dates and hearing that they're sold out,” County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins said.  

For the 2018-2019 fiscal year the parks department proposed a budget of $2,405,038.

Public works plans on replacing some of its older end-of-life culverts on county roads this year.

A recent 4-percent raise in fuel taxes should bring an extra $500,000 to the public works department this coming year.

The road department will be working on a project this coming year where it will upgrade the intersection where Seven Devils Road meets Whiskey Run Lane.

The department's 21 union employees are getting older and at least two are likely to retire in the coming year. The road department has suggested that five new positions be made available to replace theses outgoing people. They would also like to try and attract kids getting out of high school so they can train and promote from within.

According to Coos County Roadmaster John Rowe it’s been difficult to find qualified people for the higher up positions in the road department. To rectify that he would like to provide his workers with better training. He’s been looking into some programs offered by ODOT.

The planning department proposed a budget of $439,987 with a rollover of $88,177 in the planning fund from the current fiscal year.