The Brookings Budget Committee and City Council will begin deliberations on the proposed 2016-17 budget next week.
The City has scheduled two Budget Committee meetings to consider the draft budget proposed by the City staff, with the first occurring on April 18, 2016. The meetings are open to the public and will be held at Brookings City Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m.
“As required by law, the proposed budget in the amount of $24,943,398 is balanced and provides for the basic needs of the City, said Janell Howard, Finance and Human Resources Director, who also serves as Budget Officer.
The budget provides for funding of a wide range of public services including police and fire protection, street and park maintenance, water and sewer utilities, building inspection, land use planning, economic development and financial and administrative services.
The average residential water and sewer bill is estimated at $98.53 per month including System Replacement Fees (SRF), based on 500 cubic feet of water usage. This amount includes a 1.7 per cent ($0.40) increase to the water rates and a 1.0 per cent ($0.59) increase to the sewer rates and an estimated increase of 0.7 per cent ($0.08) to SRFs, effective July 1. The effect of the increase equates to $1.07 on the average utility bill. When the Fuel Tax measure passed in May 2015, the Streets SRF was repealed, decreasing utility bills by $2.98 per month.
Street projects for 2016-17 include paving and sidewalks on Easy Street, carried over from 2015-16. The budget also includes paving and/or reconstruction of the top priority streets identified for major maintenance using the evaluation criteria in the adopted Pavement Management System Plan. The City Council put a ballot measure on the May 2015 ballot requesting a 4.0 cent per gallon tax. The Fuel Tax measure passed, and approximately $270,000- $300,000 is estimated to be generated annually for streets maintenance and construction.
The proposed budget includes loans of $530,000 for Water, $1,180,000 for Wastewater, and $470,000 for Stormwater. These loans will be paid from current SRF fees, with no increases above the cost-of-living. Water projects include replacement of a main on Railroad Street, repairs to the Ferry Creek Reservoir, and improvements to serve Brookings Airport. Wastewater projects include Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) repairs, replacement of a main on Railroad Street, extension of service to the Brookings Airport, main line improvements on Pacific and Fern Streets, Treatment Plant rust removal and rehabilitation, and UV System replacement.
General capital projects include park projects, partially funded by grants and donations, including phase two of the Azalea Park ball field reconfiguration project, Kidtown repairs, Easy Manor Park fence project, and Chetco Point parking lot paving. Over 60 per cent is expected to come from donations and grants.
The budget proposes using all tax increment revenue received by the Urban Renewal Agency for debt service on the remaining $1,589,276 balance of a loan secured for downtown improvements in 2007, and for the City share of the cost of Railroad Street improvements. Total tax increment revenues are estimated at $459,671, down from $531,927 in fiscal 2013-14.