City Manager Message
Once again we head into the winter months looking forward to a busy spring construction schedule. In keeping with our City Council goals to provide for sustainable infrastructure and to implement our Urban Renewal five-year Capital Improvement Plan, a number of major projects will start soon. We meet this month with Staff and Council to revisit our current goals and establish new goals for the next couple of years. Our current goals, adopted by Council in February 2013 include:
- Identify and Implement Long-term Infrastructure Funding Mechanisms to Ensure the City can meet Long-term Infrastructure System Sustainability.
- Develop Strategies to Provide Long-term Operational Stability and Sustainability.
- Update and Implement the Urban Renewal Financial and Project Plan and Evaluate Establishment of an Additional Plan Area.
- Citywide Beautification.
- Define and Establish Business Friendly and Improved City Image.
The City continues working with ODOT to provide funding for the Highway 138 corridor construction project. This project, funded through the City’s Urban Renewal Agency, ODOT transportation enhancement funds and the ODOT STIP process provides for improvements on Oak and Washington Avenues from the west end of the bridges through the intersection at Diamond Lake Boulevard. Citizen input and design work started a number of years ago. The final funding package was approved last year and final design work complete. The project will likely take two construction seasons. While this will cause disruption to the transportation system during construction, there are significant long-term benefits to the community.
In addition to the 138 Corridor project, the City will reconstruct intersections and provide enhancements throughout a connecting five block segment of the downtown area. The project begins east of Stephens Street and include intersections at Jackson and Main Streets on Oak and Washington Avenues as well as improvements to Kane Street between Oak and Washington. The project was introduced to the public at a series of public meetings during 2014 which culminated in an open house in mid-December to show the community the final design and project layout. This project has been in the works since initial downtown planning took place in the late 1990s but was awaiting funding. This and other projects downtown were included in in the Urban Renewal Plan when it was amended to include the downtown core area.
The City’s Capital Improvement Plan, which can be found on our website at www.cityofroseburg.org also includes projects funded through our water utility, our storm drainage utility, the airport and our parks system. We anticipate spending just over $10 million on infrastructure improvements in the next fiscal year. Just over $3 million of the resources will continue to come from Urban Renewal. The current Urban Renewal Area funding will end in 2019. Council will consider the benefits of establishing a separate and new plan area during 2015. Council will also consider a couple of other infrastructure funding options over the course of the next year in an effort to meet the community’s need for street preservation and improvements.
We spent a great deal of time over the last six months evaluating the City’s current financial position as it relates not only to infrastructure funding, but also to our operational stability and sustainability. After all, the primary purpose of local government is to provide necessary services to its citizens, and for the most part, that means public service employees. Most folks immediately think of our police and fire service employees when they think of City government. They provide a tremendous service and help provide for the public’s safety. But there are many other City staff who touch the lives of our citizens in a positive way every day as well.
Consider the great transportation system we have in Roseburg. While new streets and overlays are provided through third party contractors, every day street maintenance, cleaning and patching is done by City staff. These folks respond during inclement weather and emergency situations and to calls for service throughout the community’s street system. The park employees provide daily maintenance, project development and recreational opportunities for young and old alike. Through partnerships with non-profits and citizen volunteers, the City helps provide the summer Music on the Half Shell series, the Roseburg Hometown 4th of July celebration, and almost daily exercise program options throughout the community. Every day our water treatment plant delivers great quality safe drinking water to our citizens throughout the urban growth area, sometimes reaching 10 million gallons per day. So, while we appreciate the support for our public safety officers, please consider this my “pat on the back” for these other hardworking service providers that help make every day in Roseburg better for their efforts.
We will continue over the next year(s) to provide transparent City government and work to share information with the community and to get citizen input relating to our projects and the services we provide. It is an essential part of local government that we work together to provide cost effective products and services that the community desires. So please help us help you to continue to make Roseburg a great place to live, work and play!