Proposed 2013-14 budgets for Clatsop County and four county-administered taxing districts were unanimously approved by budget committees Tuesday and Wednesday.

The budgets next go to the county board of commissioners for a public hearing June 12 and final adoption June 26.

On Tuesday the county budget committee, made up of the five county commissioners and five citizen members, approved the 2013-14 county budget. It eliminates four positions and limits spending in other areas to account for flat property tax revenue collections, lower state and federal funding levels, and increased costs outside the county's control such as Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) obligations.

The $54,601,700 budget total represents a drop of $2,076,900, or 3.7 percent, from the current year's adopted budget. The budget's 2013-14 permanent tax rate is $1.5338 per $1,000 assessed value, plus $0.07 per $1,000 for the County Fairgrounds local option levy.

The committee approved three additions to the proposed budget, including an earmark of $100,000 out of the Special Projects Fund, recommended by Commissioner Debra Birkby, for possible use toward of the purchase of land near Arch Cape for a future county park. Other additions included setting aside $5,000 out of the county's state video lottery revenue to support an arts/culture initiative, and increasing the county's contribution to the Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District from $4,000 to $6,000.

On Wednesday the 2013-14 budgets for the 4-H and Extension Service Special District, Road District #1, Rural Law Enforcement District and Westport Sewer Service District were approved. They are:

·   4-H and Extension Service – $683,500; tax rate $0.0534 per $1,000

·   Road District #1 – $2,948,300; tax rate $1.0175 per $1,000

·   Rural Law Enforcement District – $2,781,900; tax rate $0.7195 per $1,000

·   Westport Sewer Service District – $78,100; Westport Sewer Equipment Replacement – $70,300; budgets are fee-supported.

All five budgets can be viewed online at Copies are also available to view at local libraries and the Clatsop County Budget and Finance Office, 800 Exchange St., Suite 310, Astoria.

Northwest Lending Group