Council Split on PERS Vote; Mayor Casts Deciding Vote to Join Pool
The Grants Pass City Council, with the deciding vote being cast by Mayor Darin Fowler, voted to join the Oregon PERS tier one/tier two state and local government rate pool.
City staff recommended the move as a risk management strategy. Some monetary gain is anticipated. The enrollment window is every two years and had the council joined two years ago, their rate would have been 1.6 percent lower. That translates to about $200,000 annually and spreads the risk over the entire PERS system.
Councilors wrestled with the fact that once the pool is joined there is no way to withdraw from the pool. Councilors Hannum, DeYoung, Williams, and Riker voted against joining with Morgan, Gatlin, Webber and Goodwin voting with the Mayor.
System Development charges for water and wastewater will technically go up almost $1,000 January 1st. Prior councils had temporarily reduced certain SDCís to make the city competitive with surrounding cities, and in fact Grants Pass has been the second lowest for system development charges on a single family dwelling in southern Oregon, Roseburg being the lowest. The temporary reductions for water and wastewater SDCís expire the end of the year.
Councilors passed a resolution to revisit SDC charges at the next available council meeting with a look at adjusting the rate for water and wastewater retroactively. Expect them to be higher than now, but lower than the $973 increase caused by allowing the temporary reductions to expire.
The Council did pass the resolution establishing the City of Grants Pass Performance Audit, Visioning and Enhancement Committee by a vote of 6 to 2. The original resolution was amended to read audit instead of appraisal, and the make-up of the committee was changed from the mayor and 3 councilors, to 4 elected officials to go with 4 citizens.