Ever wonder how much money goes to renovating and rehabilitating Eugene’s parks, or what is costs to operate fire and emergency services in Eugene? On April 27 the City of Eugene launched a new budget visualization website, Open Budget, www.eugene-or.gov/openbudget that allows everyone to view the city budget to see how public funds are put to work. This website translates the budget into charts, graphs, and images that are attractive, navigable, and easy to understand. This new, accessible tool allows users to easily view the budget online from any device.
“Open Budget will be a valuable asset to the community to see how our city’s budget works,” said Budget Manager Jamie Garner. “Beginning with our Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget, community members can see the breakdown of city revenues and expenses that can also be viewed by department, program area and funding source. We hope that a better understanding of how the City collects and uses its resources will encourage even more community participation in the budget and policymaking process.”
Today’s website launch coincides with the release of the City Manager’s proposed FY19 budget. The City Manager will present the FY19 Proposed Budget to the Eugene Budget Committee on Wednesday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the Eugene Public Library’s Bascom-Tykeson Room. A live and recorded webcast of the presentation will be available on the City’s website at https://www.eugene-or.gov/3384/Budget-Committee-Webcasts.
Last year, the budget forecast predicted a General Fund gap of $2 million over the next several years, and City staff anticipated the need to incorporate $1 million in ongoing cuts in each of these years to stabilize the budget. Many aspects of the forecast have improved and current projections show a stable budget through FY21 without incorporating budget reductions.
While there is still some uncertainty regarding the future, the City’s healthy savings account combined with the approach of living within our means and using one-time revenues to pay for one-time expenditures ensures there will be time to respond to changes and uncertainties in a way that best serves the community. With an eye on the future and balancing the unknowns with community needs, the proposed budget focuses on targeted, one-time funding strategies for several initiatives, with an emphasis on Community Justice, Public Safety and Planning efforts in FY19. Some of these initiatives include:
- Funding to continue the Community Court program through FY19 ($105,000);
- Funding to support public safety efforts including: City Prosecutor staffing ($200,000), contracts with Lane County and City of Springfield for jail beds, and ($200,000), and Police Department staffing ($270,000);
- Funding for an additional year of an Advanced Life Support ambulance unit ($750,000);
- Funding to support community planning efforts including land use code updates for housing ($100,000), the development plan for Clear Lake expansion area ($70,000), and a University area neighborhood plan ($30,000).
The FY19 Proposed Budget is available online at www.eugene-or.gov/budget.