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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
February 20, 2008     The New Era Paper
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February 20, 2008

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- February 20, 2008 VouR COMMUNITY Page 7 From page I If approved, in conjunction with the approval of a taxing district to support the Oregon State University Extension Service at seven cents per $1,000, the district would cause a shortfall of $4,656 in city revenues, almost all of it in law enforcement funds, the most recent estimate from the county assessor's office. An es- timate last year projected a $14,000 shortfall. The shortfall is part of an effect caused by 1990's Measure 5 called compression, taxes that are above the measure's limitations and not levied. On each property, the taxes in temporary levies, such as the local police levy and the countywide law enforcement levy, are reduced first to meet the limitations. If those don't bring the total tax under the general government limit of $10, then perma- nent rates are reduced. The formation of the library district would create a permanent rate for library services, which would be reduced after local option levies, such as the police levy. The estimate of $4,656 applies only to the first year of the levy, City Manager Craig Martin said. Subse- quent years would vary depending on the rates of other local option lev- ies and the value of property within Sweet Home. "It sounds like we have revenue issues to fix here," Councilor Rich Rowley said. A library with stable funding and working right could produce a society that uses police services less. That means law enforcement may have to do without, Rowley said. "It seems like it's rather small for the benefit." When taking into account the $163,000 already under compression and the compression caused by the proposed Extension Service district, about $4,600, it adds up, Police Chief Bob Burford said. "I agree that, yes, a well-edu- cated community in theory will at some point pay off," Burford said. "Where it falls on an amortization table I don't know. "Costs for all of us, individuals, private business and local govern- ments are rising. It has always been a struggle to provide adequate pro- tection to our citizens with dollars significantly less than those approved by the voters. This proposed district may be a godsend to many Linn County communities. However, for Sweet Home, I believe the damage outweighs the good." Other cities have larger perma- nent rates than Sweet Home and fund some or most of their police services out of their general funds, Martin said. Sweet Home's permanent rate is $1.41 per $1,000 and not enough to cover police services, which costs about $6.40 per $1,000. Only a statewide election, which was attempted in the late 1990s, can change the city's permanent rate to in- clude police services and place police funding on the same level as other tax rates with regard to compression. The proposed library district would serve 107,000persons, includ- ing 26,500 county residents who do not have library services available, according to a feasibility study com- pleted by Ruth Metz Associates. In Sweet Home, it would in- crease the hours of operation from 34 to 55 per week. Residents of the district will have equal access to the collections of all six library outlets in the district, and a bookmobile will serve rural residents throughout the district. The district would be operated by a board of five elected members, one from different areas of the district, representing about 20,000 popula- tion. Local cities and library advisory boards would continue, advising the district board in establishing goals and polices, Local friends of the li- brary groups would comtinue as they are, providing volunt~eer help and fund-raising efforts. Cities would conttinue to own library buildings. The cdistrict would pay for operating cossts and lease the building for a nonninal fee. The proposed district budlget does not include a capital improvement re- serve fund. With the differencce between the existing library levy ralte of 62 cents and the proposed district rate of 68 cents, the study said, a case could be made that service levells are increas- ing for citizens of Swe~et Home. In otherbusinessl, the eouneih Recommended lto the Oregon Liquor Control Commisssion approval of a change of ownerslhip at the Bo- hemian Club Tavern, 11205 Long St. Applying for a liquor' license were Clinton, Heather, Philliip and Wendy Pollock doing business ~as Blacksheep Investments. Adopted an ordinance vacating city right-of-way loca'.ted under the building at 926 Main St. Approved the e;xpenditure of up to $21,750 to installl new camera equipment at the Polic:e Department and skate park. Some o)f the upgrades are mandated by the state and federal government. The upgrade will also include the ability to record video digitally Stewart and friends Photo by Scott Swanson Oak Heights fourth-graders, left, greet members of the cast of "Stew- art Little," right, after they watched the play, performed by Linn-Ben- ton Community College Performing Arts Department members, last week. The play, based on the book by E.B. White, is the classic story about a mouse born into an ordinary New York home. The mouse, Stuart Little, goes on many adventures both big and small. Actors play many human and animal roles in a series of delightful scenes that make up the maneuverings of a mild-mannered mouse trying to sur- vive in a "real people's world." Students from Hawthorne and Holley schools also watched the performance Thursday. "Stuart Little" will be performed at 3 p.m. on Feb. 24 and March 2, in the Russell Tripp Performance Center, Takena Hall at LBCC. Admission is $9 for adults and $6 for children under 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Russell Tripp Performance Center box office Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. or two hours prior to the performance, or by phone 24-hours a day at 541-917-4531, or on-line at www.linnbenton. edu/go/theater (click on "Buy Tickets.") S et l By Jason Alderman The days when most folks joined a company right out of school and remained until retirement are long gone. Today, people intentionally change jobs numerous times during their lifetimes. Unfortunately, such changes aren't always voluntary, as anyone who's been laid off knows. If you've recently been laid off or fear One is around the corner, here are a few ways to cope with what lies ahead: Rein in expenses. It may take Lt .S Bookkeepins ~ Tax Service/ Inc. 69 ' V Ash St Lebanon OR 97355- I I lk I L : I II[] I I I I~ We're what bookkeeping anU ~x~es are all about! Katriua Lon~ Z~ Sheita ~qneddon 541-451-2877 ! LTC's ~ Enrolled &gen~s Fax: 541-451-2905 I(a t r i na Is boo