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Connect with your city at two community events

Jan. 28: All Town Meeting, Feb. 4: Forest Grove Neighborhood Watch

Jan. 28: All Town Meeting

'Show Me My Money.'

This is the topic of the upcoming Annual Town Hall Meeting, or 'ATM' for short. The focus of the meeting is how much of your property tax bill goes to city services in Forest Grove and what services it supports.

You may not know that not all city services are paid for by property taxes. For example, your power, water and sewer services are supported by fees collected from rates charged to you, similar to your gas and telephone services. However, many traditional city services such as police, fire, library and parks are primarily funded by property taxes. Using the mayor's property tax bill as an example, we will explore how city services are funded and where your tax money goes for these services.

What is known as the 'permanent tax rate' does not generate sufficient property tax funds to support those services. As a result, voters in the city have supported what is called a local option levy to provide additional funds. The program will also discuss the current rate for the levy and what we anticipate the need will be in the future.

You may also wonder why your property tax bills increase each year even though the market value of your house is in decline. This question will also be answered at the ATM.

People are also wondering about the lawsuit against the city. The mayor will discuss what is happening with the suit and how it will affect city services.

This sounds like the ATM will be all talk. It won't. There will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to ask questions, offer their opinions and find out what others are thinking. We hope to see you there.

The Annual Town Hall Meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28. It will be at the Community Auditorium, 1915 Main St.. in Forest Grove. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 9 a.m.

For more information, contact the city's Community Development Office at 503 992-3227.

- Jon Holan, Forest Grove director of community development.

Feb. 4: Forest Grove Neighborhood Watch

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home. It takes the combined efforts of a dedicated police force plus the support of our community partnerships to provide that sense of safety. When crimes affect an area, local citizens often ask how they can help.

The answer is Neighborhood Watch. It is a solid, nationally accepted program with the kind of spirit, energy and determination that will help make your neighborhood a safer place for you, your children, and your neighbors.

Once the basics are established, a group has the tools to be an effective crime watch. With assistance from your Community Service Officers, residents usually tailor these skills to meet the specific needs of their street.

By monitoring crime incidents residents will know when and where to be especially vigilant.

While an effective Neighborhood Watch will not eliminate crime, it will surely deter crime and reduce fear. A strong crime watch neighborhood is one that is very hard for a criminal to pass through undetected. Neighbors who are trained to react make their street inhospitable to someone intent on committing a crime.

Come to the Neighborhood Watch Open House on Feb. 4 to learn more about energizing your group or starting a new one. Sign in at 9:45 a.m. at the Community Auditorium for an hour that kicks off with refreshments during the greeting from Police Chief Kerry Aleshire, questions and answers about the police department.

For more information call 503-992-3108 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-Teresa Kohl, Forest Grove Community Service Officer.