Klamath Falls could be facing a three-quarter of a million dollar deficit in the next ten years...and the city wants your opinion on where to cut expenses, and raise revenue.
Klamath Falls City Manager Nathan Cherpeski notes that it's a simple formula for deficits...
"Essentially, our expenses are growing faster than our revenues."
Cherpeski cautions that current spending and revenue levels could translate to a 760 thousand dollar shortfall in ten years. If nothing is done, in 2016 the budget could dip below city council's minimum for reserves - essentially, dipping into the city's savings account.
"And then in 2017, 2018, we're actually into negatives." Notes Cherpeski. And by 2023, it's a very significant number if nothing were to change."
Public Employee Retirement System, or 'PERS' obligations are a growing factor.
City Councilman Bill Adams suggests that the rising burden of PERS costs could be eased somewhat if current workers help to share the load...
"My take is that at some point in time, we're going to have to reinstate public employees paying their half of the PERS rate, instead of the employer paying 100 percent."
While budget sessions won't get underway until mid-May, the city is asking for public input now.
"There's a link on our website." Notes City Manager Cherpeski. "People can go online and fill that out, certainly feel free to call."
Councilman Adams agrees: "This is really one of the first times that we've gone out before budget and asked for information up front."
And your feedback could help the city to weather a budget storm.
Klamath Falls budget hearings are scheduled to get underway on May 15th.
Here's a link to where you can comment: www.ci.klamath-falls.or.us