SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) -- The Lane County Sheriff's Office says county jail inmates are being released because there's not enough money to run the jail. So what are the financial solutions? Many are saying the county should do more to grow new business.
When local governments look for new revenue to fund services, some point to new taxes as the answer, others point to cutting wasteful government spending. But one of the biggest helpers towards increasing the tax base is getting new businesses to open up shop in Lane County.
The Springfield Chamber of Commerce is one of the agencies that works toward attracting new business. Executive Director Dan Egan says one of the key things new business look for is a safe community and a strong school system. However, both of those services have taken huge financial hits across Lane County as of late.
Egan says there is still a lot of interest in the area, but businesswise, he says there is more work that can be done.
Egan says the area needs to do a better job of inviting businesses and industries to come here that are similar to existing ones. He says Lane County also needs to set aside land that can be used by large employers.
"The other part of that is we have great businesses here that really need some help in expanding and I think that's something we need to continue to do is support our local businesses when they have a chance to add one or two or more employees. That's really going to make our economy go,” says Dan Egan, Executive Director of the Springfield-area Chamber of Commerce.
Egan says public safety is paramount for business growth, using Springfield as an example. After it installed the jail, Springfield Police says property crime dropped by 33 percent between 2008 and 2011. Burglaries, thefts, vandalism and other crimes have also dropped.
Egan says many business owners have also told him that they wouldn’t have moved downtown before the jail opened up.
On the horizon for Springfield's business scene, a new brew pub, Plank Town Brewing Company will open on Main Street in the next few months. Downtown will also welcome a new sushi restaurant soon, along with a few other businesses.