By Whitney Clark/KTVL.com
JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. -- Loreena Pedersen and her husband went to the Josephine County Sheriff's office to apply for a concealed weapons permit on Thursday.
The couple lives in Sunny Valley, and with no long-term county budget solutions in sight they worry about their safety.
"Of course we worry," Pedersen said. "But I think everybody needs to do all that they can to help their neighbors. We started a neighborhood watch group in our area."
County leaders say they want to hear from people like them. Last week President Obama signed a bill that will give Josephine County an extra year of timber payments.
County Commissioner Simon Hare said they expect to get around $4.6 million.
There are a number of ways they can use the money including putting it in this years budget for agencies like the sheriff's office, saving it for the next few years, or give it to other county departments like animal care and control, he said.
But even with the money, Hare says the county is nowhere close to closing this year's budget gap.
"It's a catch-22," Hare said. "Frankly we've made all the cuts this year. Our budget has been approved as of June 30, and so we let 119 staff go. So the cuts have already been made. If we made adjustments this year it would be very challenging."
Hare says the commissioners would like to hear from the public about where the money should go. The best way to contact them is to E-mail county leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a letter to 500 N.W. 6th Street, Dept. 6, Grants Pass, OR, 97526.
The commissioners will make a final decision in the next couple of weeks.