Eugene budget planners are trying to find a long-term solution to recurring financial shortfalls. Last spring city voters rejected a proposed fee to pay for services. The city faced a $5.2 million dollar budget shortfall. Currently it's tapping into reserves to fund libraries, recreation and other services.
Ken Beeson is a citizen member of the Budget Committee. He says over the past 5 years the city has reduced its general fund by about 24 million dollars.
Beeson: "To the extent there was any low-hanging fruit, if you will, it's long gone, so at this point to still make reductions, we'd be looking at things that certainly impact people here in the community-- whether it's public safety or whether it's recreation or the library or other things."
Beeson is also part of the nine-member Finance Investigation Team which evaluated possible changes that could improve Eugene's finances. The options include reducing personnel costs, discontinuing leaf pickup, and growing the tax base. The list was generated by the public and the Budget Committee. It's on the City of Eugene website.
The next Eugene Budget Committee meeting is Tuesday evening at 5:30 at the Eugene Public Library.