City finances already feeling COVID pinch

Until last week, things were looking up for the City of Keizer’s budget. There was a large conversation looming regarding the police services fee, but the message from city officials was generally a positive one. 

Because of the COVID-19, the same city officials are re-examining most of their assumptions. 

The most immediate hit came in the form of room rental cancellations at the Keizer Civic Center, said Tim Wood, Keizer finance director. 

“They’re all rescheduling, but the future bookings pretty much have stopped for the time being,” he said.

Even if business rebounds quickly, Woods estimates it will drop revenues by approximately 20 percent for the year. 

“It’s unfortunate because we’ve had several great years of building up that business,” Wood said. 

The city is still planning to hire an additional staff person to assist with the civic center operations, but it may be put on hold if the pandemic fears and distancing rules stay in place for a longer time. 

Keizer had also seen growth in the city’s transient occupancy tax (TOT). TOT revenues had soared with the addition of a new hotel at Keizer Station and lots of bookings as the result of In-N-Out opening next door. 

“The last couple of quarters had been phenomenal,” Wood said. He expects it to drop by