Committee approves 2017-18 budget proposals
At the June 1 budget committee meeting, Wilsonville Finance Director Susan Cole led the committee through the second half of the proposed 2017-18 City budget and public hearing, continued from the May 18 meeting.
During the meeting, Cole covered the City departments of Policy and Administration, Community Development, Parks and Recreation, the Library and Public Safety.
For the second meeting in a row, no citizens came to give testimony.
Cole kicked off the meeting with the Policy and Administration budget, including increases to cover signage, outreach videos and monuments being redesigned to fit with the City's new branding and logo and improved technology and information systems.
The addition of a code enforcement officer is intended to free up staff time in the Planning Department as well as the police force, since the code officer will handle matters from building code enforcement to road code enforcement, such as issuing parking tickets.
As for the Community Development portion of the budget, minor restructuring was suggested, including the addition of a summer building inspection intern and a new full time inspector. City of Wilsonville Building Official Daniel Carlson said that these additions are in response to the booming, record-breaking levels of development throughout the city.
An amendment was suggested within the Parks Maintenance portion of the budget. Parks Director Mike McCarty recommended transitioning one of the currently seasonal labor positions to a new full time position.
"We're adding more parks and we're going to have to take care of them," Councilor Susie Stevens said in support of the amendment. "It's a lot of land, and like you said, it changes all the time."
One of the larger monetary changes from the last fiscal year to the 2017-18 budget came in the Law Enforcement budget, which jumped from $4.4 million to $4.9 million. However, this increase will bring something that citizens, council and staff have all been asking for: a new full time patrol officer, bumping the contracted police force from 19 to 20. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of qualified applicants within Clackamas County, the new officer won't be available to start until December.
"That is a disappointment," Mayor Tim Knapp said.
Cole wrapped up the 2017-18 budget presentation with the five-year plan and forecast.
"It seems apparent to me that several things are happening in this budget," Knapp said. "We are coming to terms with the reality that this is a community that is continuing to grow and that citizens have a certain level of expectations of services, and as there gets to be more and more people expecting that certain level of services that we'll need a little bit more money to keep providing that level of services. What I perceive is that this is asking us to make a commitment to continuing our level of service that this community has had and bear the cost of doing that."
The total budget of $174 million, along with the proposed amendment for the Parks and Rec provision of adding a new full time staffer, was approved unanimously by the committee and will go next to the Wilsonville City Council for a vote.
Following the 2017-18 City budget hearing, a second public hearing was held for the 2017-18 Urban Renewal Proposed Budget. The Urban Renewal budget of $41 million was also approved unanimously.