The Medford City Council has approved a proposed public safety fee increase after holding a public hearing on the matter.
The increase of $2.98 will go into effect on July 15, 2023.
Throughout the past year, the City’s Police and Fire departments have been working to evaluate current levels of service and identify ways first responders can effectively address the growing and evolving needs to the community.
“Based off data from two level of service studies, our departments have created Strategic Plans. These plans will direct everyday operations in an effort to address the City’s ability to provide emergency services in an efficient and effective manner,” said Police Chief, Justin Ivens and Fire Chief, Eric Thompson in a joint statement.
The deficiencies in staffing determined from the level of service studies and strategic plans are based on the needs of emergency services as of now.
Public safety services account for 64 percent of a projected $9.7 million deficit for the 2023-25 biennium. The Revenue Committee, created by Mayor Randy Sparacino, is recommended the Council address this deficit by raising the Public Safety utility fee by $1.00 to maintain the current level of emergency services.
To expand public safety services and address emergency service staffing deficiencies, as identified in the department strategic plans and recommended by level of service studies, the Public Safety Utility Fee needed to increase by at least $1.98 per year for six years.
“The demand for emergency services continues to rise. A public safety fee increase would allow both of our departments to expand staffing in vital areas of need and ensure emergency response services for the community,” said Ivens and Thompson.
Council members had considered four options to increase the public safety utility fee: $1.87 (for 27 public safety personnel), $1.98 (for 29 public safety personnel), $2.87 (for 27 public safety personnel and a recommended increase from the Revenue Committee), or $2.98 (including 29 public safety personnel and a recommended increase from the Revenue Committee.
Source: City of Medford