Your City Hall: Council to tweak bureau budgets
WHAT IS HAPPENING? The City Council is scheduled to adjust the current budgets of numerous bureaus Wednesday, Oct. 16. The annual process is officially called the fall Budget Monitoring Process, or BuMP for short. A similar process happens every spring.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN THE ANNUAL BUDGET PROCESS? Under the law, the council must adopt a balanced budget before the start of every fiscal year, which always begins on July 1. That's typically a very public process, with multiple community forums and hearings. That's when the mayor and council usually propose creating new programs or, very rarely, end existing ones.
But the council does not always know exactly how much a program will need for the rest of the fiscal year, or whether changes in projected revenues might require budget alterations.
So it schedules budget adjustments every spring and fall to keep the budgets balanced and meet program goals. Most changes are largely internal and minor, although some are of public interest. They are included in a single ordinance prepared by the City Budget Office with multiple supporting documents. The council was briefed on them during a previous work session.
HOW MANY CHANGES WILL THE COUNCIL CONSIDER? According to the impact statement prepared by the CBO, the ordinance will adjust 51 funds for a net increase of $223.6 million. There is a net increase of $11 .3 million to general fund contingency accounts, resulting in a net increase of 36.5 new positions, including one new limited-term position and the conversion of three limited-term positions to permanent.
Those changes of most interest to the public probably include:
• $1,984,400 to fully fund the general fund portion of the $24 million Portland Harbor Trust agreement with the state of Oregon to encourage other parties to draft their cleanup plans;
• $250,000 for the Portland Housing Bureau to start work on an expanded Rental Registration System to track all rental properties in the city;
• $950,000 in general funds for the new public Open & Accountable Elections campaign finance program to ensure sufficient funding for matching grants for eligible candidates;
• $133,534 general fund for claims related to the large March 2019 water main break in Northeast Portland;
• $120,000 for the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability for additional work related to the Anti-Displacement Action Plan intended to mitigate the gentrification expected to be caused by city housing plans that currently are in the works;
• $1,205,291 for the Intergovernmental Agreement for the project intended to increase the safety of the aging Columbia River levee system.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE? The ordinance and documents are available at the agenda of this week's council meeting at the city's website at www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/26997. You also can attend the hearing or watch it on community TV or the same website.
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