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City Explores Fees for Budget Deficit

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EUGENE, Ore. –The city says after watching its footprint closely by cutting spending and city jobs, it still needs help meeting next years budget.

The city got rid of 100 positions in the last four years; but starting in July, another $6 million budget gap in the general fund awaits them. Now it’s looking at fees to help fill the shortfall.

“For the last four years we’ve been working to drive down our costs which we’ve done by 20 percent, which is pretty significant,” said John Ruiz, City Manager.

But not significant enough to avoid a $6 million budget gap in the upcoming general fund budget.

“We need to increase our tax base by $250,000 to $500,000 over the next many years,” said Ruiz.

For the near future, Ruiz says there needs to be an immediate fix, which may include new fee’s for Eugene residents.

“Transition our parks operations costs over to our storm water fund,” said

That move would allow the city to use storm water fees to help maintain the parks, instead of taking money from the general fund; in turn, leaving money for services that the public says they want to keep.

“Public safety, services for job creation and economic development, or social services like services to the homeless,” said Ruiz.

The other option, a monthly city service fee up to $10 a month, which would be put to a public vote. According to a survey by the city, it supports is where it needs to be. Councilors will have to decide by February if they want the fee on the May ballot.

“Our staff are very conscious and understanding of the financial situations that so many in our community face right now. Now we have to make a decision of a community, do we want to maintain these services or not?” said Ruiz.

The Eugene City Council will talk about the fee options more in January. There will be upcoming public hearings once discussion gets a bit further.

4 comments

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  1. Mr.machinist says:

    The REAL issue is the massive amount of money going to PERS, not the actual cost of services, but the EXTRA cost added on top of wages allready being paid by tax payers and NOTHING being contributed by PERS workers.

  2. Sean says:

    How is it that the city has 15 million $ to spend on a city hall upgrade but not enough funds to fully operate? Maybe the city shouldn’t be running full time leaf cleanup for LAZY PEOPLE to pile leaves on public streets! I bet that stupid service costs us tens thousands a month!

    1. jason marks says:

      oh good grief, the city OWNS probably 75% of the tree’s… Do you send someone out to sort thru the leaf pile and return misplaced private property leaves to the owners?

      Ridiculous. Storm water fee’s pay for that.

      Another moronic comment by an ignorant viewer.

      The city hall issue is obvious. The building is worn out and unsafe. It has been for a LONG time. A laud the city manager and council for the EXCELLENT job working within budgets. Great job getting police moved to a new building. It was much needed and the financing WELL planned.

      Sean, get a rake and do some community service yourself instead of just mindlessly complaining about what you know hardly anything about. !

  3. quasimodo says:

    how about using some common sense stop making the public in general subsidise things that most do not use ! if the library is short funds make the people that use it fork the dough to use it.
    if the public swimming pools are short on funds make the people that swim there for the money to use it. user fee’s are the way to go and stop forcing people that dont use services pay for the few that do.

    lane county has been doing that for several years with the county parks system its fair in the respect that people who use the parks pay to use them but unfair in the fact that I have to pay a fee to use boat launches that my oregon state marine board licence fee’s already pay for access.

    in the end it just boils down to making the people that use a service bear the excess cost

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