Benton County has placed a measure on this November’s ballot asking voters to renew a levy supporting health and safety services. Measure 2-110 would impose a five-year levy of $0.90 per $1,000 of assessed property value starting in 2018. The county estimates it will bring in between $7,692,000 and $8,792,700 per year over the next five years.
The specifics of what the levy would fund include the continued rental of 40 jail beds from other counties. Additionally, 24-hour sheriff’s patrol, substance abuse treatment programs, and detention services would continue to be maintained. Crisis Intervention Teams addressing severe mental health crises, which present a risk of criminal activity, would also be included in the supported services.
Health services supported by the levy include measures to prevent communicable diseases, provide nursing for at-risk mothers and their children, carry out community health assessments and improvement planning, and administer mental health services at county schools.
The Benton County Voters’ Pamphlet contains statements from several groups who support the measure. Each group states that failing to approve the measure would end the above services in addition to many others. The supporting groups include Benton county’s three circuit court judges, Benton county’s three commissioners, the sheriff’s office, the district attorney’s office, and Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Benton County.
No opposing statements appear in the voter pamphlet.
City Club of Corvallis will be hosting a discussion of the proposed tax levy at the Corvallis-Benton County Library on October 24 at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to show your support or voice your concern, make sure to check out the event.
By Andy Hahn