Wilsonville Budget Committee reviews proposed budget
The City of Wilsonville budget committee revealed the many improvement projects slated for the upcoming fiscal year and discussed issues such as cost oversight, the "Big Pipe" project and road maintenance at its first budget meeting for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The City's proposed budget is $185 million, which is up $11 million from the previous year, including $38 million for the general fund.
The budget features 133 capital improvement projects including $1.2 million to replace the wastewater treatment plant outfall, $1.6 million to replace the surge tank at the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant, $1 million for a new software system, $1.5 million for improvements to Garden Acres Road, $4.6 million for the second phase of Tooze Road improvement project and over $1 million for sewer water and street improvements for the Fifth Street to Kinsman Road extension. Wilsonville
is planning to use $3.9 million of the general fund balance for capital improvement projects.
"Wilsonville is in the unique position (compared) to a number of cities in that we are still building roads," Finance Director Susan Cole said.
Of the $32.2 million in city project appropriations, $5.4 million is designated to be paid for via the City's various urban renewal districts.
Wilsonville has also added the Frog Pond West Infrastructure Supplemental Fee Fund, which will be used for improvements to Boeckman Road, Stafford Road and other neighborhood improvements and revenue from the fund will be generated from developers who pay a per door fee for construction.
The City may also designate $550,000 for preliminary design work for the "Big Pipe project," which will install a water pipe that will flow from Wilsonville to Hillsboro and increase Wilsonville's current water intake capacity from 15 million gallons per day to 20 million MGDs. The City is hiring a new engineer this to will help with this project.
"One of the major points I've heard is to have technical oversight of putting this in the ground in Wilsonville," Council President Scott Starr said. "That's a part of this engineering piece that I think is urgent because this is going to have exponential impacts for a long time."'
During the meeting, Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp raised concerns over the city's road quality.
And Finance Director Susan Cole said Wilsonville will likely boost its road maintenance expenditure from $200,000 to $2 million next year. City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said road maintenance measures will go before the council soon.
"I have been concerned over the last couple years about our road maintenance quality. There seems to be examples of roads over the last couple years that are not as good as we thought we were going to be able to maintain," Knapp said.
The proposed budget also included $500,000 for a seismic upgrade at the Public Works building. The City is planning to build a new Public Works building soon but the Wilsonville Police Department is slated to move into the current Public Works building, which will give the police more room to work with.
"All police buildings will have to be seismically retrofitted," Cosgrove said. "They (the police department) don't have space. Of any department in the city, they need more space and more usable space."
The budget plans for Wilsonville to employ 168 workers — up from 162 last year.
Wilsonville budget committee member Bill Amadon asked City staff and councilors if there is enough accountability in assessing if project projections match up with end results. Wilsonville staff told Amadon that the City determines cost estimates on a year-to-year basis and creates a five-year plan for City expenditure but doesn't track the evolution of project costs from start to finish.
"There's no perfect way to do it. We assume things and then we find out that those assumptions aren't always true," Wilsonville City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said. "I don't have a good answer for how to change that process."
Knapp added: "It is an iterative process and every year we know something we didn't know before."
Cole said Wilsonville has been prudent with its finances over the years.
"We have very healthy reserves. We have excellent bond ratings and so this budget committee and prior councils and committees have been quite diligent in ensuring that the city is in strong financial footing," she said.
Wilsonville will hold two more budget committee meetings at 6 p.m. June 6 and June 7 at City Hall. They are open to the public.