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Mayor Rick Rogers said the council will press onward with list of priorities while still working on future plans

Mayor Rick Rogers said the Newberg City Council will likely stay focused on priorities set by the previous council.

Rogers, speaking from Washington, D.C., said for the time being he and the other councilors will continue to work on the 13 priorities set for the 2017-2018 year. He added that the council was set to create its own priorities, but he anticipated simply continuing with the existing priorities.

"We're probably going to go with those, they're all very important," Rogers said.Rogers

Rogers said the 13 priorities were not in any particular order and some have already been completed. He acknowledged that the council would know more about its priority schedule once it gets further into the budget season and assesses the financial figures attached to each priority.

"We'll know more after the next council meeting," he said.

The 13 existing priorities are: maintaining a state-of-the art 9-1-1 dispatch center and 800 MHz radio communication system; repairing and maintaining streets and sidewalks and securing funding; facilitating the annexation into the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue District; improving Newberg's Public Employee Retirement Pension System (PERS); utilizing technology to improve and economize city services and within three years obtain functional software/hardware that reduces redundancies and duplications through the integration of departmental systems.

Other goals include completing a five-year financial plan and fiscal policies; expanding the city's urban growth boundary; encouraging affordable housing; developing a riverfront master plan; implementing an emergency preparedness and response plan; implementing a city economic development strategy; completing a community visioning process and communication plan; and improving the transit system in and out of the city.

The city has already been working on several components of the list, such as the riverfront master plan, the transit plan, the emergency preparedness plan, the communication system and working toward creating more affordable housing.

Rogers said going forward, he expects the council will take a look at the structural deficit that's been ongoing in the city budget. He said City Manager Joe Hannan has a deadline of 24 months to address the deficit, which Rogers called "a reasonable goal."

Rogers also said housing will remain an important topic for the council to address. He added that continued efforts to promote economic development and making sure there is developable land for multi-family housing and other development is important for the council to consider.

"Those are a couple that jump out to me right away, but they're all important," he said.

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