Corvallis Budget: The City of Corvallis has released its FY 2023-2024 budget with a goal of returning the city to pre-pandemic levels. The city says it faced two major challenges while compiling the proposed budget, the first being inflation and the second was overcoming a lack of past planning and fiscal strategy.
“The FY 2024 Proposed Budget does not anticipate substantial changes in the services the city is providing. But the year will not be business as usual,” said City Manager Mark Shepard. “These circumstances have left the city facing significant unfunded capital investment needs for facilities and infrastructure. These investments are foundational to sustainable City operations, employee recruitment and retention, and ongoing service delivery.”
The budget does include some funding for all four priority facility projects that we’ve been reporting on, including the Parks Maintenance Facility, Civic Campus, Police Facilities, and Fire Station 1 remodel.
“The budget includes the establishment of a sinking fund for facility replacement, dedicating $200,000 of General Fund resources. In addition, $600,000 of what would have been unappropriated fund balance has been assigned to the New Facilities Investment Reserve,” said Shepard.
Corvallis residents can submit public comments on the budget by May 10 at 12:00pm. Questions and comments about the Proposed Budget can also be directed to Budget Inquiries, 500 SW Madison, Corvallis, OR 97333 or at 541-766-6990 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the proposed budget visit https://www.corvallisoregon.gov/finance/page/budget
Notably, the city commissioned an outside firm to identify facilities deficiencies throughout their operations – and it would cost between $225 and $255 million to address all the report’s findings.
Special Election Ballots Mailed: The county mailed ballots on Wednesday, voters have until May 16 to choose school board and special district candidates, but the real buzz this cycle is the Community Safety Measure 2-140.
On April 19, county officials fielded almost two hours of questions at a CitySpeak town hall that we at The Advocated co-presented with the City Club of Corvallis. Click here for the video.
Today, our newspaper made an endorsement on the matter, and you can click here to read it.
What’s in Measure 2-140: Next month, voters will decide whether to approve the $110 million dollar bond measure. Benton County introduced the Justice System Improvement Program to fund the construction of facilities that aimed to provide community safety, mental health and homelessness services.
Measure 2-140, which will be on the May ballot, includes a co-located Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Operations Center, and correctional facility on the new Community Safety and Justice Campus; renovations to the County’s Sunset Building to expand capacity for mental health services in the Children and Family program; and an investment in a proposed homelessness services and housing navigation center. The largest part of the project is the jail, at over $64 million, with the sheriff’s office and emergency center coming in second at just over $40 million.
The Children’s center accounts for $1.5 million, and the homeless services navigation center, which would be run by the Daytime Drop-in Cener, which is Corvallis nonprofit, would get $3 million.
Whether the measure passes or not, the county is building a new courthouse and district attorney’s office at the new Justice Campus. Those funds, and the dollars to secure the land being developed, came from a combination of county borrowing, and state and federal grants.
Legislative Ask: The County shared total JSIP cost allocations in January and February 2023 of $184.6 million and $195.8 million respectively. The two allocations differ by the county’s additional legislative ask of $11.2 million, which was not finalized until February.
The majority of the additional $11.2 million ask from the legislature, which is $10.2 million, is funding necessary to complete the housing and homelessness navigation center. The county’s original allocation of $184.6 million included a legislative ask of $4 million for the proposed Emergency Operations Center; the County is prepared to backstop the $4 million request in the event it is not approved.
The total legislative asks of $15.2 million is a combination of $4 million for the Emergency Operations Center, which was finalized in January, plus the additional $11.2 million request that was not finalized until February.
Spring Clean-Up: The City of Corvallis is hosting the second of two spring clean-up events in the downtown area. These events are family friendly and they include weeding, pruning, litter pickup and planting. The first already took place at Riverfront Park on April 1.
The second is set for Saturday, May 6, from 9:30 am to 12 pm at Central Park.
Contact Steve McGettigan for more info or large groups email@example.com
By Jennifer Warner