Kitzhaber: Regional effort may aid timber counties



SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says some local government work could be regionalized to help rural counties struggling with the expiration of federal timber payments.

Kitzhaber and legislative leaders spoke on Tuesday to editors of Oregon newspapers that are members of The Associated Press. He says some counties in southern Oregon might be able to save money by collaborating on jails and other services.

The federal government has paid millions of dollars to prop up local governments in counties hurt badly by the long decline in revenue from logging on federal land. The stopgap funds expired last year, and efforts to revive them have so far been unsuccessful.

Democratic Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay said some counties could go insolvent, and the state will have to figure out how to help.