The were no real surprises at Monday night’s city budget planning meeting. Top of the list biggest financial fears was what many call the crushing burden when higher state retirement payments kick in – which will unbalance city and county budgets throughout Oregon.
But Lincoln City has an ace up it sleeve in that it recently annexed the Roads End neighborhood and the property tax amounts will sure help the city pay that high PERS bill.
Another budget item will be a hefty lift – the city’s first major expenditure toward making Lincoln City more accessible to the handicapped.
In what will make getting around town easier for for them is repairing the lower parking area at City Hall, easier access to the front doors and City Hall restrooms, new auto opening doors at the Community Center, as well as easier access to the police department. Also ADA improvements to signage, parking at Regatta Park and to the Taft dock by Mo’s. Repairs and upgrades will also be made to its parks in terms of picnic tables, appropriately placed drinking fountains, flashing signs at certain crossings and curb ramps in strategic areas of town. All to the tune of nearly $600,000 – and that’s just for starters. Lincoln City has not been aggressively pursuing ADA Compliance because although the mandates have been federally laid down, there has been virtually no federal funds to help cars strapped cities and counties to get the job done.
Things appear to be cruising along fine for the city’s Driftwood Library. Their budget is pretty steady. But Mayor Don Williams asked the library director if they had ever thought of charging admission to use the library. The director promptly responded that the first bad effect of that would be that low income people and their children would be excluded thereby cutting off critically important opportunities to learn about strategic information which helps them move forward in society. Then she directed the mayor’s attention to the fact that everyone who Lives in Lincoln City pays property taxes, either as homeowners or renters, so the are indeed paying for library access. In response Mayor Williams said he thought it an important enough issue to bring up.
The budget committee called it quits after about two and a half hours and set another budget review session for early next month.