ADOPTED BUDGET FOR 2017-18 FISCAL YEAR SETS STRATEGIC PLAN IN MOTION
News Release from City of Salem
Posted on FlashAlert: June 29th, 2017 8:00 AM
On June 26, 2017 the Salem City Council adopted a $559.3 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. In addition to continuing the public safety and livability investments from last year, the budget includes several enhancements to set in motion the City's strategic plan.
For several months, the City has undertaken a strategic planning effort with the primary goal of engaging the community and elected officials to sustain efficient and effective delivery of Salem's services. Through extensive outreach and engagement, including a 2016 resident satisfaction survey, the City Council developed six initial priorities in the strategic plan. These priorities will further the City's mission to provide "... fiscally sustainable and quality services to enrich the lives of present and future residents, the quality of the environment and neighborhoods, and the vitality of our economy."
The Adopted FY 2017-18 Budget, and other recent Council actions, promote the six identified priorities:
* Vision for Growth and Development: inclusion of a multi-year Comprehensive Plan update to help guide future growth and development.
* Affordable Housing, Social Services, Homelessness: $1.4 million supporting enhancements for a joint community program to assist the hardest-to-house with temporary housing and additional support services through non-profit organizations.
* Critical Infrastructure: support of a November 2017 ballot measure to seismically upgrade and extend the life of the City Library, funding to begin work on the voter-approved $61.8 million public safety facility, an additional $350,000 for deferred maintenance, and $55.7 million for improvements to the City's transportation and utility systems and infrastructure.
* Economic Development and Downtown: continued investment in improvements to job creation and downtown vibrancy.
* Sustainable Service Delivery: dedicated funding to continue the strategic planning initiative and survey residents to inform future policy decisions.
* Public Transportation: continued partnership with the Salem-Keizer Transit District to support improvements to the public transportation system in our community.
Other budget enhancements to help achieve the vision of a safe and livable capital city include an additional deputy fire marshal to assist with inspections and fire safety.
The City's finances are well managed. Staffing levels remain low as a result of layoffs, attrition and cost reduction measures. These previous actions and temporary PERS relief (later overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court) have enabled the City's General Fund to remain on solid financial ground.
However, the service level the community demands and needs exceed revenues. Rising personnel costs, including an anticipated increase in PERS rates, impacts the FY 2017-18 budget. Reducing City staff could decrease some employee-related costs but would not change the City's PERS obligation.
The City's General Fund supports operations in public safety, planning, code enforcement, public library, municipal court, parks and recreation, urban development, and necessary support services. The January 2017 Five Year Financial Forecast of the General Fund shows a structural imbalance between available revenue and the cost of providing services. Relieving this imbalance may require additional revenue sources to prevent significant service reductions. New sources of revenue, however, are unlikely to cover all of the increasing costs.
The Budget Process
Through April and May 2017, the Citizen Budget Committee, comprising elected and appointed members, met to consider community input on the City's revenue estimates, as well as the costs of providing service and capital projects. The Budget Committee held a total of five meetings to review input and develop a recommended budget for the City Council. The Council conducted a public hearing on the budget on June 12 and adopted the budget on June 26. The City of Salem's new budget year starts July 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018.
The Citizen Budget Committee meetings were televised on CCTV and streamed live on the City's Facebook page. You can view past meetings at https://www.facebook.com/CityOfSalemOR/ and at http://www.cctvsalem.org/.
For more, check out our web page on the City's budget and plan for capital improvements http://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/budget-and-finance.aspx