Letter to the Budget Committee & the Citizens of Beaverton
As required by Chapter 294 of Oregon Revised Statutes and Chapter V, Section 19, subsection H of the Beaverton City Charter, I am submitting the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17. This budget represents the priorities of the Mayor, City Council and our Community Vision.The time is now! This is the year we implement the projects developed through the process from the two rounds of community visioning, the Civic Plan, the Creekside Plan, the South Cooper Mountain Plan, the Central Beaverton Urban Renewal Plan and other programs.
We need to move ahead with plans to build an earthquake-resilient public safety building for the Police Department and Emergency Management. The City Council has called for a public vote on a $35 million general obligation bond measure at the fall 2016 election. I’ve said this facility is the top priority, so the budget proposal for FY 2016-17 contains no property tax rate increase nor an increase in water rates.
Beaverton’s revenue trends are generally up over past years. We will continue to invest in staff expertise to service the development community, acquire key properties for redevelopment and create the types of infrastructure necessary to assure that private sector development occurs. This will cause us to reach a bit deeper into our contingency accounts in the General Fund, Street Lighting Fund and Library Fund than I would otherwise prefer. These are the kinds of choices that elected officials need to make and we are prepared to do so. Other revenue increases should come from lodging taxes, planning fees and fees on specialized services.
These are a few of the key investments proposed in the FY 2016-17 budget:
- Intersection improvements on Canyon Road (OR 8) in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Transportation for better pedestrian connections and improved traffic flow.
- Creation of a safe alternative route for bicycles using Broadway Street and Millikan Way, which parallel Canyon Road.
- In conjunction with the Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency, acquisition of several key properties which will allow the agency to assemble land parcels suitable for redevelopment for mixed-use, commercial and residential purposes.
- The hiring of additional staff in the Site Development and Engineering divisions of the Public Works Department for the review of public and private sector development construction plans and the ability to follow through with timely inspections of the related public improvements. Construction activity is brisk all over Beaverton, especially in the South Cooper Mountain area, at Cedar Crossings and in the Creekside Redevelopment area.
- Additional employees in the Police Department to maintain our public safety standards.