The City of Roseburg Budget Committee unanimously approved a recommended budget for the next fiscal year that keeps the property tax rate as it is now while raising total expenditures slightly for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The committee accepted the recommendation of city staff that the proposed property tax rate remains at $8.4774 per $1,000 of assessed value for the permanent rate tax levy. The proposed total budget for the city for the 2021-22 fiscal year is $80,302,808, which represents a 4.8% increase over the current total budget of $76,595,538.

Staffing at the city is proposed to remain at 170 full-time employees.

The proposed budget was approved unanimously following a four-hour meeting of the budget committee. The Committee consists of 16 people — all eight city councilors and another eight city residents — but not every member was present Tuesday.

The proposed budget is scheduled to come before the City Council on June 14 for final approval. The 2021-22 fiscal year begins July 1.

There were some increases the city is having to absorb, most notably a 25% increase in property insurance rates and a 15% increase in liability insurance.

Salaries for police officers and firefighters increased by a total of 3% each, for cost-of-living raises, as part of the contracts signed by the unions for both departments. Some officers and firefighters will receive merit raises on top of that. The police department is projected to have 43 employees next year, the same as it currently has.

The total proposed police budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $8,389,148, a 6.8% increase over the current year’s budget of $7,854,722. The total 2021-22 proposed budget for the fire department is $7,896,051, a 3% increase from the current budget of $7,664,819.

Total costs for the municipal court are expected to go up 3.8%, from $525,000 this year to $545,000 next year.

On the revenue side, the city is expected to receive about $4.8 million from the latest federal COVID-19 stimulus package, known as the American Rescue Plan. City officials are still getting word on the parameters for how that money can be spent.

“There’s a lot of ideas and I can’t really commit to anything now,” City Manager Nikki Messenger told the budget committee on Tuesday. Messenger also said some of that money could be used toward a shelter with services for the unhoused, known as a navigation center, that the city is planning to open within about a year.

The city is expecting to receive $1.5 million from the state to help get the navigation center up and running.

The entire 109-page PowerPoint presentation from last night’s Budget Committee hearing can be viewed on the City of Roseburg website. The meeting was also recorded, and that too can be viewed on the city website.

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