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City's planned capital improvement project expenditure could increase signifigantly from current fiscal year

The City of Wilsonville is considering ratcheting up its spending to improve its infrastructure.

At a meeting Thursday, May, 16, the Wilsonville Budget Committee considered a proposed budget totaling $212 million — up from $193 million for the current fiscal year — for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Whereas the City's 2018-19 budget designated $32 million for capital improvement projects, next year's proposed budget designates $48 million and Finance Director Cathy Rodocker said the increase is the central reason why the overall budget is projected to be higher.

"We just have some big (capital improvements) projects overall," she said.

The City's revenue increased in large part due to transfers from other funds, including a $6.2 million increase in transfers from the City's fund for system development charges, and revenue from other governments.

The committee looked at the overall scope of the budget as well as capital improvement projects and the South Metro Area Regional Transit and Public Works department budgets during the meeting and could decide to approve the budget at the upcoming meeting May 28.

Wilsonville Capital Projects Engineering Projects Manager Zach Weigel said the City is finishing design and land acquisition for the Fifth to Kinsman Road project, which will extend Fifth Street from Kinsman Road to Boones Ferry Road. Construction will begin in the next fiscal year. The budget allocated $6.6 million for the project.

The City also carved out $2.6 million to extend Garden Acres Road from Ridder Road to Day Road to facilitate development in the Coffee Creek Industrial Area after recently taking on debt to finance the project. Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp said the City is negotiating with developers and that the road extension will go a long way toward convincing them to invest in Wilsonville.

"I'm optimistic we will see notable interest by the private sector in fairly short order as that project gets out of the box," he said at the meeting.

Also, after the City Council identified building a new public works facility on Boberg Road as one of its top priorities at the goal-setting session in April, the City allocated $1.5 million for preliminary designs for the project.

Other notable capital improvement projects included $4 million designated for design and land acquisition associated with the I-5 bicycle and pedestrian bridge project, $2 million for the continued Willamette River Water Treatment Plant capacity expansion, and $850,000 for design and construction of the Boeckman Dip Bridge.

The City also will continue its street maintenance project in Charbonneau, allocating $408,000 for that project.

"The overall project was driven by the fact that Charbonneau's infrastructure is deteriorating more quickly than what might have been expected," Knapp said.

As for the five-year forecast for the City's capital improvement program, $50 million of the $247 million is projected to go to the Parks and Recreation department, which recently completed master plans that outline projects such as the addition of a boat ramp facility in Boones Ferry Park and sports field improvements, among other expensive projects.

On another note, the personnel services budget increased from $18.5 million to $20.2 million due to the addition of 7.5 full-time staff members, five of which were added to SMART.

Overall, though, staffing has shrunk compared to the city's population. The City had one full-time employee for every 100 Wilsonville residents in 2010, but will have 0.71 employees per 100 residents next year. If the budget passes, the City will have 178.29 full-time employees.

"The City has been able to accomplish this (decreased staffing compared to the city population) by investing in equipment and technological tools to help staff remain productive and efficient as the City grows," the budget committee packet reads.

Also, grants and added revenue from the Statewide Transit Improvement fund to the City's transit program accounted for much of the City's 6% increase in its operating budget, which is about $46 million.

SMART Director Dwight Brashear presented a rosy picture of SMART's outlook during the meeting.

Due to funding from House Bill 2017 and federal grants, the City will receive $424,000 for an intelligent transportation system that would add Wi-Fi on buses and arrival and departure displays and $1.9 million in vehicle additions. Brashear also plans to purchase an all-weather trolley.

As for taxes, 49% is assessed to residential property owners, 26% to industrial and 13% to commercial. The City also is paying off about $5 million in outstanding debt coming from the initial development of the water treatment plant in 2002 and the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant in 2011.

At the May 28 meeting, City staff will give presentations about the general fund, community development and urban renewal, and the Budget Committee will deliberate about the proposed budget.

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