Mayor, Council Budget: You may remember the stipends for City Councilors and the Mayor were increased last year – don’t feel bad if you forgot, apparently even our electeds needed a reminder.
At their April 3 meeting, council began discussions on the budget details for the FY 23-24. “You’ll notice that it’s gone up roughly 18%. Major contributing figures this year that you will see an increase for personnel services, that is to reflect the council stipend,” said Finance Director Ryan Seidl. “There was also a 10% increase for administrative internal charges.
Unlike last year, The FY 23-24 budget includes a full year of Mayoral and City Council stipends which is an increase of 78.6% from last fiscal year. The estimated 10% increase in Administrative Internal Service Charges is a placeholder as Central Administrative Services budgets are being finalized.
The stipends are now: Councilor at $360 a month, Council Vice President at $410 a month, Council President for $460 per month, and Mayor for $560 per month.
Another large contributor of the increase is Visit Corvallis. The Visit Corvallis payment is based on a percentage of lodging taxes collected on short-term rental and hotels. “The city saw a significant increase of receipts as the responsibility for collections was transferred from the city to the State’s Department of Revenue,” said Seidl.
The council will continue discussions on the budget at its next meeting on April 17.
Fentanyl Crackdown: Also at the April 3 meeting, the Corvallis City Council unanimously agreed to back House Bill 2645. If passed by the state legislature, HB 2645 would charge individuals with the delivery of fentanyl as a commercial drug offense in specified circumstances.
“This house bill is really important because fentanyl is really becoming a growing problem and has shown up in the Pacific Northwest over the past five years,” said Council Member Hyatt Lytle. “As Measure 110 passed they didn’t define fentanyl, and law enforcement agencies have been deferring to oxycodone and heroin. So basically, any person can have possession of 39 fentanyl pills or a gram and just get a hundred-dollar ticket.”
In November 2020, Oregon voters passed by referendum Measure 110, or the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act.
HB 2645 passed the State House in a vote of 59-1 and then was referred to the Senate where it passed in a work session and is now up for review by the full Senate before it goes back to the house for a vote on any amendments made.
Trash Talks Final Report: The Benton County Solid Waste Workgroup held an open house for community members on April 4. During the open house the public was able to get a firsthand look at the current workgroup recommendations.
“Transparency and openness with our community are a top priority and we have strived to be as open and transparent as we can by engaging with community members who have diverse perspectives, key stakeholders, landfill operators, adjacent counties, Oregon DEQ, and more,” said Benton County Community Development Director Darren Nichols. “The open house on April 4th is another opportunity for us to engage with the community and we hope it will be well attended.”
The next step for the workgroup is to deliver a final report to the Benton County Board of Commissioners on Apr. 11 that will provide final recommendations to the board about specific solid waste topics.
For more information or to view the current draft visit: https://www.co.benton.or.us/cd/page/solid-waste-process-work-group
By Jennifer Williams