The Clatsop County board of commissioners adopted four of the five goals it set for itself for the upcoming year, but set aside the fifth for further discussion.

The board identified five goals as its top-priority projects for 2004-05 at a May work session. At its Wednesday meeting, the board agreed on the first four - completing the proposed Community Corrections Transition Center, implementing a long-term financial plan, completing a systemwide criminal justice study and completing an audit of the county animal control program.

But the commissioners disagreed over the fifth proposed goal, establishing a new shooting range.

The board voted 3-2 against including the firing range, with Lylla Gaebel, Bob Green and Richard Lee opposing it, in part because of what they said was the way that Commissioner Sam Patrick, a supporter of the project, gave the proposal multiple votes at last month's work session in order to get it on the final list.

Another vote to replace the firing range goal with a proposal to create an economic development strategy was also defeated, and the board finally agreed to approve only the first four goals, and set aside discussion on the entire goal-setting process for a future meeting.

The board also adopted the 2004-05 budget with a handful of changes made to the document since it was approved by the budget committee in May. They included the addition of some grants that had not been received when the original budget was drafted, and a carry-over of funding for several projects, including wetlands mitigation work at the North Coast Business Park in Warrenton, that were originally budgeted for the 2003-04 year.

The budget adds eight new full-time-equivalent positions and increases the overall budget by more than 13 percent to $52.6 million, but much of the increase is due to carryovers in several funds, a federal grant the county is handling for the Miles Crossing sewer district, and a $1.2 million stabilization account.

The budgets for the county road district, rural law enforcement district, 4-H and Extension Service district and Westport Sewer Service District were also adopted.

The 2004-05 budget includes a payment of $1.1 million for the new 10-year PERS repayment bond approved by the board earlier this year. The bond will pay off the county's estimated $9 million obligation to the Public Employees Retirement System. The bond will cost about $1.1 million each year, but will save the county an estimated $10 million versus paying off the debt over a longer period.


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