400 Thousand dollars...
That's how big of a gap there is between budgets proposed by the Klamath County Sheriff, and the Klamath County Budget Committee.
Sheriff Frank Skrah says the proposed cut could jeopardize public safety...
""If we don't bridge this 400 thousand dollar gap, we'll lose six deputies. That means we will have four deputies on the street for a 24 hour period. That's not four per shift - that's four in totality for a day."
The Klamath County commissioners say they won't oppose putting a 3.2 million dollar tax levy before voters to fund jail operations...but only if citizens collect enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
"I'm on record, I'm not for additional taxes." Stressed Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams. "But if the citizens want one, I'm not going to get in their way, either."
Sheriff Skrah is doubtful that such a measure would pass...
"We need the funding. There's no doubt about that. Will it fly? I doubt it."
The sheriff says he only wants as much money as his predecessor.
But that budget included one million dollars in road funds, which the county is reluctant to tap into.
"There's been some suggestion of using more road funds." Notes Commissioner Mallams. "But road funds are for patrols only."
While budget discussions have been heated at times, Sheriff Skrah is confident that a solution will be found...
"The bottom line is, we're going to work together to make this thing work."
The sheriff and commissioners will meet again next Tuesday afternoon to try and hammer out a budget agreement.