Budget Committee to meet to mull $24.9 million budget

by: GAZETTE FILE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Sherwood City Manager Joe Gall is asking for a budget that is a 3 percent increase over the current one, asking to add 4 1/2 employees and replacing a play structure at Stella Olsen Park.Sherwood’s proposed 2014-15 budget is calling for a 3 percent increase over the current budget with plans to add 41/2 new positions, two of which would be to operate the city’s future community center.

The proposed $24.9 million budget is an increase of $763,000 over the current budget with a general fund of $11.2 million. General fund monies are used to pay for major city services including operation of the police department and city library.

City Manager Joe Gall released his budget last Friday and the Sherwood Budget Committee meets Wednesday night for its first formal meeting.

Plans are to add an associate planner to the Community Development Department, along with an engineer associate and a half-time building permit technician, all positions that were eliminated during the last budget cycle.

Gall said with new development-related revenue up, those positions are needed again.

“Within our Sherwood community, signs of a strengthening economy are evident in a variety of key areas,” Gall wrote in his budget message. “Development activity in the past year has been the highest in six years.”

Gall said that new homes are being built near both Edy Ridge Elementary School and Laurel Ridge Middle School campuses, although single-family residential land is limited. Regarding commercial growth, the majority of it is centered along Langer Farms Parkway and Tualatin-Sherwood Roads where Gramor Development is building the new Parkway Village at Sherwood shopping complex, which includes a new Walmart superstore.

In addition, the city would add two more positions to help operate the future Sherwood Community Center.

“We hope it will be open by the end of the year,” said Gall. “We want the facility to be used as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, Gall said one of the budget items calls for a staffing study for the Sherwood Police Department, where he has requested funding up to $20,000.

“I don’t think it will cost that much,” he pointed out.

At the same time, Gall said legislative changes have reduced costs the city must pay into the Public Employees Retirement System.

Also, the upcoming budget will fund badly needed maintenance items at the city’s parks, facilities and for fleet/equipment to the tune of almost $500,000.

One of the most visible pieces of planned capital improvements is at Stella Olsen Park where an aging play structure will be replaced for $170,000.

The Budget Committee meets Wednesday, May 14, from 6 to 9 p.m., in Sherwood City Hall council chambers, 22560 S.W. Pine St. A subsequent meeting is planned for Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. to noon, at the same location.


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