EUGENE, Ore. — A $6 million budget gap faces the city for the next fiscal year, but the city is trying to come up with solutions.
Mayor Kitty Piercy says with the recession the city has seen fewer tax dollars, and over the past four years the council has had to cut $24 million out of the $125 million general fund.
Mayor Piercy says that resulted in some difficult choices, including 100 fewer employees.
Most of what is left in the general fund goes to fire and police. Mayor Piercy says if people want to maintain the current services, the city needs a small fee to do that.
The City Council is looking at a stormwater fee up to $10; but after public feedback, it’s scaled it back to no more than $5.
“If people really want to maintain things like pools and libraries and maintenance of parks, we have to find some way to pay for it or we just won’t be able to do it,” said Mayor Kitty Piercy.
The council could decide Monday night to forward the fee on to the budget process to decide just how much it would be.
The city also decided not to ask for a city service fee, but rather a five year property tax levy that voters would need to pass in May.
Mayor Piercy says the overall amount the public would be paying in both of these proposals is less than half of what was in the first proposal.