Grants Pass considering utility fee increase for police and fire funding

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– The City of Grants Pass is discussing whether it should increase the city’s utility fee or payroll tax to help staff its police and fire agencies.

The city said its still in the early stages of the discussion, but its estimating it would need at least $14.5 million to maintain current levels of service.

The council believes it might need as much as $16.5 million to properly fund police and fire.

It said without new funding, police and fire might have to cut positions.

Grants Pass Finance Director J.C. Rowley said, “the 16 and a half is potentially adding three fire and four police. The four police would actually add back staffing levels that they had in fiscal year ’21.”

Rowley said the city is still working to figure out whether a utility fee increase or payroll tax would be more effective.

He said he plans to meet with the City of Eugene to learn about its payroll tax soon.

According to Rowley, the council will likely talk about funding police and fire again in April.

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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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