SEASIDE — Teamwork, strong revenues and a road construction project nearing completion led to unanimous approval of the Seaside budget at Seaside’s City Council meeting Monday night.
The budget calls for expenditures of about $18.7 million, an almost 20 percent reduction from this fiscal year’s budget of almost $23 million.
The decrease comes from the near completion of a North Holladay Drive reconstruction process as crews finish curbs and paving before power crews install underground utilities. Construction crews will vacate some areas by the July 4 holiday to accommodate parade visitors, Public Works Director Dale McDowell said, although the parade route has been altered because of the construction.
With North Holladay Drive renovations complete, the city could address other building needs, City Manager Mark Winstanley said after the meeting. These include construction of the Avenue U bridge and a proposed renovation of Holladay between First Avenue and Avenue A.
The city is in the design phase to replace the Avenue U Bridge, at an anticipated cost of about $3.5 million.
“We’d love to get some money from the Oregon Department of Transportation to help us with that bridge,” Winstanley said.
The next phase of the Holladay Drive renovation has yet to be scoped, but it is a much smaller area. “We expect that will be much more affordable,” he said. “The North Holladay project was a huge project and we’re not going to be doing anything like that for a few years.”
If a proposed $15 million Seaside Civic and Convention Center renovation is approved, the budget could be adjusted to get the project up and running before the end of this fiscal year, Winstanley said.
The city could also play a role in the development of a new Seaside High School campus, he added. If district voters approve a bond to relocate geographically at-risk schools, the city would need to provide water and sewer systems on the new site, proposed for an 80-acre parcel on a hillside immediately south of Seaside Heights Elementary School.
“We’re not to that point,” Winstanley said. “The school district needs to see if they can get out and get their levy passed, and if they do we will certainly be happy to work with them.”
Because the city’s revenue sources were good, he said, ending fund balances are up, “which is a good thing. We’re not running quite as tight as we have in past years.”
City personnel act as a team, councilors and staff said, in which everyone fills a particular role.
“We have very good department heads,” Winstanley told councilors. “They all do an excellent job and we’re very lucky to have them.”
“Organizations really excel when all the right people are on the right seats in the bus and it’s really running smoothly,” Councilor Jay Barber added. “I give large credit to Mark for hiring the right people and supporting them, so good job.”