City Manager Message

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As we approach the first day of summer, I am reflecting upon the cool wet spring that appears to be leading into very busy and hopefully prosperous summer.  Our operating budget and capital improvement budgets have recently been adopted and the new fiscal year will bring with it new opportunities for our organization and our community.   While each of these improvements will impact neighborhoods and commercial areas during construction, the final products will provide recreational opportunities and long term infrastructure upgrades that will serve our community for many years to come.  Please support your local businesses during this very busy construction season.

Each year the end of spring means the beginning of a four week “Movies in the Park” series held four Fridays in June at the Stewart Park Half Shell and the kickoff of Music on the Half Shell.  The MOTHS summer concert series celebrated its 25th season last year and is continuing as one of the premier “free” concert series in Oregon.  This program could not have become a staple in our community without the dedicated services provided by the MOTHS committee and the generosity of many businesses and individuals in our community.  Thank you to all of you!

Early in calendar year of odd numbered years, Council and staff have embarked on a process to evaluate and set Council goals for the following two fiscal years.  Developing broad goals at a policy level help drive the important budget resource allocation decisions that are made in an effort to carry out the goals.  This year Council adopted four broad policy goals, and staff then put together an action plan and activity list to accomplish those goals.

Council’s goals for the July 2017 to June 2019 biennium are:

1.  Develop and Implement transportation funding policies to meet identified community needs.

2. Support and adopt policy development and implementation to enhance housing and community development.

3. Take a proactive role in community economic development and revitalization.

4. Develop programs and policies to enhance community livability and public safety.

The goals are not in any particular order, but they continue to speak to the livability of our community and the commitment our organization has to serve and enhance our community.  Of particular concern is the growing need for additional housing, both multi-family and single family throughout the range of affordability.  During the recession, few new housing starts were constructed and many of the local builders relocated or changed professions.  Since the recessionary pressures have eased, new residential construction has generally been confined to mid-range single family construction and commercial construction.  The City is working closely with Douglas County and the development community to determine how to stimulate housing development.

Our recently adopted budgets for the City and our Urban Renewal Agency include a Capital Improvement Plan component that outlines over $15 million in project work to be completed during the next fiscal year. Projects will range from around $350,000 at the Airport (90% plus grant funded) to $2 million in storm drain projects, to about $3 million from transportation and streetlight/sidewalk funding and around $4 million in Urban Renewal Projects.   The City will also be investing over $2 million again this year in water infrastructure.

From the operational side, the General Fund budget of $28.4 million in expenditures (with $5.34 million in reserves) is up about 3.7%when compared to the last two fiscal year budgets.  Based on some policy changes, and in an effort to carry out the Council Goal on community livability and public, this budget provides for an enhanced level of service in Community Development around code compliance and enforcement and the addition of 1 FTE in the Police Department for “community policing” in areas hit hardest by nuisance and petty criminal activity.  Prior to development of the budget, staff put together updated financial policies and a six-year forecast that we believe will allow us to meet this current level of service into the future and continue to provide a higher level of service to our constituents.  Operational sustainability is important from an organizational standpoint and a community service standpoint.  Over 82% of the adopted operational budget in the General Fund consists of “people” costs, and that translates directly into the services we provide for our citizens.

The City continues to partner with local businesses, other municipalities and non-profits in our community to meet community needs.  We work closely with Douglas County and other cities on economic development through the Partnership for Economic Development.  We also work closely with the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians through our membership in the Umpqua Business Center, a business incubator facility and small business center and with Douglas County through the Industrial Development Board and the Downtown Roseburg Association through the “Main Street” program. 

The City is also working with local and regional partners to develop strategies to effectively address a community wide housing shortage.  We are working closely with the Greater Douglas United Way, NeighborWorks Umpqua, the Cow Creek Tribe and local foundations to address access to housing and barriers that may be impacting new development.  An integral part of the process will be to establish baseline information relating to the current needs, available buildable lands, and opportunities available to meet the current demand.  The housing shortage is a regional and statewide issue, and we are committed to making a difference here in our community.

Once again, I would like to say that we look forward to working with local businesses, constituents, volunteers and City staff to make Roseburg a better place to live, work and play. 

Respectfully,

C. Lance Colley
City Manger
lcolley@cityofroseburg.org