From the City Manager
Staff is well into budget preparation for the biennial budget. Divisions are currently entering their requests. I will review those with Finance Staff and then meet with the individual Managers and Department Directors. Once those meetings are complete and changes made, I meet with the Department Heads to make any changes and then it comes to the Budget Committee. While it only takes a few sentences to describe the process, it is many hours of work for the Finance Staff, Support Services Director, and myself.
Our challenges are similar to years past. We have more needs than funding and PERS continues to exert a powerful downward pressure on the budget. Our projected PERS payments over our 10-year planning horizon total more than $30 million. Compared to our projections from 5 years ago when we anticipated a 10-year horizon would require $9 million. We continue to look for efficiencies and explore how to grow the economic pie for the region. PERS needs to be addressed at the State level, but of the bills I have been tracking there hasn’t been much movement.
The Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport was awarded a $500,000 Rural Oregon Aviation Relief (ROAR) grant from the Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA) at the State Aviation Board's meeting in Newport on Thursday. The ROAR program was established by the ODA to assist rural communities in the state with attracting or retaining air service. The Airport intends to use the $500,000 as part of an incentive package to attract an airline to start service to the community.
Removing Blight Initiative
Code Enforcement Staff for the City continue to tackle blighted structures and substandard housing in the City. Staff meets monthly to focus cross-departmental resources to this issue. Once we identify substandard buildings and/or housing we place it on an action list. Property owners receive letters outlining the issues needing correction and are required to provide a plan on how to rectify the situation. Since the initiation of this group, we have seen 30 structures repaired or removed in that time frame. We will provide City Council with a more detailed update in the future on these efforts.