BDS submitted its fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 Requested Budget and 5-Year Financial Plan on January 30th. Both documents provide updates on BDS’s financial status and highlight the bureau’s balanced approach to addressing its ongoing staffing and service level needs. In 2011, modest growth in the development industry and the local economy allowed BDS to begin rebuilding financial reserves and add back 17 staff positions. However, bureau staffing remains below levels that the current increasing workload requires. BDS cannot meet its performance goals in some areas, impacting both development needs and neighborhood livability.
In response to this need and the slight increase in work projected for FY 2012-13, BDS’s budget includes a request to add 16.6 FTE (staff positions) in high-priority service areas throughout the bureau. The positions will be paid for with projected increases in permit revenues and will improve the bureau's response time and customer service. Contractors and developers will experience quicker response times in inspections and plan review, which will positively impact their bottom line. Neighborhoods and residents will see improved response to their requests for service on zoning and compliance issues. BDS will also be better trained and staffed to perform its damage assessment responsibilities in large-scale emergencies.
The added positions is anticiapted to improve service levels in a variety of programs throughout the bureau including Inspections, Plan Reivew, Land Use and Zoning enforcement turn around timelines.
The bureau will continue to track revenues closely and will fill positions dependent on increases in workload and sustained revenues.
Cuts in Ongoing General Fund Support: In light of the City’s tax revenue projections, Mayor Adams directed most City bureaus to prepare cut packages of 4%, 6%, and 8% in the General Fund allocations in their operating budgets. BDS is meeting these cut requirements by reducing staff schedules in the Land Use and Noise Control programs and reducing nuisance abatement funds. These proposed cuts would reduce resources for programs that support neighborhood livability, hampering the bureau's ability to offer services effectively.
One-Time General Fund Requests: The Mayor also said that bureaus would need to submit requests for the continuation of one-time General Fund monies. BDS submitted requests for the continuation of one-time General Fund support that was provided last year (FY 2011-12) for six positions in the Enforcement program and one position working on the Citywide Tree project.
Community Budget Forums: The scheduled dates for community members to have an opportunity to share their budget priorities for the City will be held on:
- Monday, March 5th, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Montgomery Ball Room located at 2701 N.W. Vaughn Street
- Wednesday, March 21st, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Cleveland High School located at 3400 S.E. 26th Avenue
City Council is scheduled to review BDS’s Requested Budget on Tuesday, April 3rd, from 10:30-11:00 a.m. in Council Chambers. Other key steps in the budget process include:
- March 12th – The Office of Management & Finance (OMF) gives their recommendations regarding BDS’s budget to City Council
- April 3rd – City Council reviews BDS’s budget (10:30 – 11:00 a.m.)
- April 30th - Mayor Adams releases his Proposed Budget decisions
- May 17th – City Council holds public hearing on budget
- June 21st – Council adopts the final budget
- July 1st – FY 2012-13 budget goes into effect
You can find all of the bureau’s budget and financial plan documents, plus information about the BDS Budget Advisory Committee, on the BDS website at www.portlandonline.com/bds/budget.
If you have questions about the BDS budget any of the budget documents, please contact BDS Administrative Services Manager Denise Kleim at (503) 823-7338.