Grants Pass considering $30 fee increase to fund public safety department

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– The Grants Pass City Council is considering a major hike to the public safety utility fee, starting next year.

The city is debating whether to hike that fee $30 each month.

That equates to more than $300 a year.

The city council hasn’t voted on increasing the utility fee yet.

But if it’s approved, residents won’t get a chance to vote on it.

The $30.51 increase would automatically be added to monthly water bills starting January 1st.

Back in March, the city’s finance director said it needed around $15 million to maintain the current levels of service for both the city’s police and fire agencies.

Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol said the fee increase would bring long-term stability to the city’s public safety department.

Bristol said, “This problem has been going on for a long time and the city has been using general fund monies to cover the increase in costs of the public safety department so it’s time to solve the problem.”

Bristol said the fee increase will prevent them from having to make significant cuts to public safety.

She said the city is not looking to grow the department.

The city council is also considering a $1.79 increase to the public safety levy.

Residents will have a chance to vote on that in November.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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