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The Coos Bay City Council unanimously approved the 2021-22 budget last week, agreeing to a budget that will spend $70.2 million over the next year. The budget will be down $16 million over the current budget due to several large projects being completed.

The budget will keep the same tax rate as in recent years, charging $6.3643 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Property tax collections will move up slightly in the fiscal year due to increased property values in the city.

In all, the city is expected to collect $6.8 million in property taxes, an increase of $200,00 over the fiscal year.

The biggest change in the 2021-22 budget is in wastewater, with the city taking over complete operations of wastewater services after using a contractor to run the wastewater system for many years.

While the move is expected to save money in the long run, the wastewater budget will decrease slightly in the next fiscal year, dropping from $16.9 million to $16.3 million. An additional $7 million is budgeted for improvements to the wastewater system, a decrease over the current fiscal year.

The city’s general fund, which is where property tax revenue is spent and where the city council has the most freedom to make changes, will increase about $700,000, with total expenditures of $15.56 million. As usual, the majority of that money will be spent on public safety with the police department budget set at $5.95 million and the fire department budget at $3.1 million. Administration, government and some public works funding also comes from the general fund.

All city employees will receive raises, most cost of living raises as agreed to in their union contracts. Management level employees who are not in unions, will also receive COLA raises.

The budget includes $41,249 for community contributions, with $10,000 slated for the Boys and Girls Club, $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity, $10,000 for Oregon Coast Community Action, $5,000 for Southwest Oregon Veterans Outreach, $1,249 for the Mental Health Association of Southwest Oregon and $5,000 set aside for discretionary contributions.

State gas taxes are slated to bring in $1.15 million, with the city planning to spend $2 million on road projects.

The city is slated to spend $1.1 million on tourism and events promotion projects, with the majority going to the Visitors Convention Bureau.

Funding for the library will jump slightly to $2.5 million, but the budget does not include funding for construction of a new library. If funding is found for a new library, either through a voter-approved bond package or grants, the budget could be amended to begin work on the new library at John Topits Park.

The complete budget can be seen at the city of Coos Bay’s website, coosbay.org.

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