City council takes up budget at June 20 meeting

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Keizer City Council has a stacked agenda for its June 20 meeting and one of the hot topics will be approval of the city budget. The city expects to see a 4 percent increase in revenues over the 2015-16 fiscal year, primarily because of a 3 percent increase in assessed property values, 1 percent growth and increases in charges for services. At the most recent meeting of the Keizer Budget Committee, some members of the advisory board bristled over the city officials’ decision to not include funds for a new police officer. Longtime committee member Ron Bersin questioned the hold-up in adding another position to Keizer Police Department’s existing 38 officer contingent. “Earlier we talked about a 15 percent reserve fund,” Bersin said. “Right now we’re 2.7 percent over that. We should be at $1.4 million, but we’re actually at $1.7 million. There’s $273,000 there, so we should be able to get a police officer in (the budget),” Bersin said. The reserve fund is used to cover bills in the time between the start of the fiscal year in July and income from the tax rolls in November. City Manager Chris Eppley said he wanted to see more sustainability in the budget before adding personnel. It’s the second consecutive year that adding an officer has topped the wish list for the...

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