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Citizens Sound Off on 2015 Eugene Budget

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EUGENE, Ore. — The city of Eugene continues to face huge deficits in its general fund, and now it’s turning to residents for help prioritizing its services.

Dozens of resident attended the budget workshop Tuesday night at the South Eugene High School.

The residents were broken into separate groups and given a chart of different city departments. The residents were then asked where they would allocate and move funds if they were confronted with the task of balancing the budget.

The city blames the recession and low property tax revenues for its deficits in its general fund, the fund that pays for police, fire, parks and the library. City leaders say over the last four years it’s decreased its expenses by $24 million, but with that came the elimination of 100 positions.

Last year a proposed city service fee failed. After hearing from the community, the budget committee decided to use reserve funds to fill the gap for a year. The committee wants to hear from the community about what to do for the Fiscal Year 2015. That’s exactly what city leaders heard.

“To support the Parks and Recreation part of the budget, I think it is really important to not cut that and keep it going. It’s what makes Eugene a strong community.” said Eugene resident Erin Cling.

“I feel frustrated with the kick-the-can-down-the-road approach that we need to balance the budget now,” said Eugene resident Seda Collier.

“Even though I am the Vice President of the board of Team Eugene, I can’t get my son on the team because there isn’t enough pool space yet. We are still thinking of closing a pool,” added Eugene resident Jeffery Winter.

The city says last year’s budget gap was about $5.3 million. The city says the 2015 budget will likely be in line with that.

Click here for a list of future workshops.

4 comments

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  1. Tim Corcoran says:

    I heard that a new City Hall is in the works. I assume that the comfort of our elected few outweigh the concerns of the electorate. It seems it “You citizens need to tighten you belts and pay more to the City!” Perhaps the opposite should be a consideration?

    1. jason marks says:

      worse yet, the city wants to buy a useless run down stadium for no good reason.

      the problem is the city cannot prioritize it’s out of control pet project spending habits.

      we don’t need more money, just more accountability.

      1. Gramma Linda says:

        Sounds just like the federal government..spend, spend, spend.

  2. Tank Commander says:

    I’ve got a had copy of the Eugene city budget. You should ask for one. There is a lot of money going into rabbit holes. I note that in the article parks are taking a hit. that’s funny, given the register guard talks about Eugene wanting to buy civic stadium. If that’s grant money from the feds, why not give it back to them so they can pay some of the federal bills? If it’s bond money they want to use, how about a referendum to move it to maintain the parks they already have? To me, fire, EMS, and police are the necessary things we need from the city. They already collect five cents on the gallon for road work. Anything else is gravy. You can’t put our a house fire with a swimming pool. You can’t stop a burglar with a library. The internet killed the postal service, and it’s going to make the library a dinosaur too. Why wait for the inevitable? According to the budget, only four percent of the cities populace use the library on a daily basis. How does this justify the continuing cost?

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