Budget includes $15 million for capital construction plans including City Hall renovation

Woodburn City Council approved the city's 2018-2019 Budget Monday, July 11. The city's financial situation is improving according to City Administrator Scott Derickson's introduction to the budget.

Woodburn's general fund cash position has improved thanks to reductions in staffing and programs, and careful budgeting, while the economy overall has continued to improve with low unemployment and residential and industrial growth Derickson said.

The total proposed budget 2018-2019 budget is 92.5 million, with a general fund portion of 22.5 million. City expenses represented 17 percent of the total budget, with personnel services representing the majority of the city's operating costs. Capital construction plans accounted for 16.4 percent, $15 million, of expenditures. Capital construction includes repairs to city hall and upgrades for the Woodburn Police facility.

City Hall is slated for a new roof, heating ventilation and air conditioning system, and remodeling to fix water damage from leaks and replace decades old carpet. The remodel also includes extensive changes to the council chamber and hallway, adding windows for better light and ballistic glass for improved safety. Remodeling could be finished as early as the fall of 2018. The city will need to relocate water and waste water services and city council during the construction process.

The initial estimate for the remodel was 2.8 million, to be covered by a transfer of $1.2 million from the general fund and a $1.6 million loan to be repaid over four years.

The Woodburn Police Department will receive several capital projects; an upgraded radio system, a repair and replacement of HVAC systems, and equipment for an emergency operation center totaling $187,000.

The city also created a Public Employee Retirement System reserve fund this year to help pay down Woodburn's PERS liability, which was $16,230,092 as of June 30, 2016. The reserve fund will cover the city's participation in a state program which pays up to 25 percent matching funds to employers that make a one-time lump sum payment on unfunded PERS liabilities.

The city's PERS reserve fund will come from three sources; a transfer of $1.5 million from the General Fund reserve held specifically for PERS, a transfer of 1 percent of personnel costs charged to each fund, and interest earnings from the PERS reserve itself.

The budget for Woodburn's Urban Renewal Agency capital projects amounted to $4,945,000, and included North First street improvements, alley improvements, museum improvements, and the public arts and mural program.

The city's primary revenue source is property tax, which makes up 43 percent of the General Fund and 22 percent of city wide revenue. Property tax revenue was budgeted 3.2 percent higher for the 2018-2019 budget, and has increased in the past three years.

Derickson commended the City Council and Budget Committee for navigating the city through several difficult years by adhering to budgeting and cost cutting strategies.

Patrick Evans



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