CANNON BEACH — Property owners in Cannon Beach may see a 3.16 percent increase in their water and sewer bills beginning in July.

The rate increases are proposed in the city budget for 2012-2013 budget, which was submitted to the city budget committee Thursday night.

The $12.7 million budget includes a $4.6 million general fund, which pays for most of the city’s services. The remainder includes special funds dedicated to roads, water and water treatment, tourism, the city’s RV park, storm drainage and wastewater treatment.

At least 25 percent of the resources in the budget are from balances carried over from the 2011-12 budget. Lodging taxes account for 70 percent of resources in the general fund.

Although lodging taxes were up by 9 percent for the quarter ending on March 31 and have increased an overall 5 percent since the beginning of the fiscal year last July 1, the city is projecting that they will remain even with last year, said Renee Sinclair, the city’s finance director, who presented the budget.

Taxes from short-term vacation rentals are down by $200, Sinclair said.

The building department fund also is starting the year off without reserves, and a transfer of $41,425 from the general fund is proposed. Although last year’s budget anticipated $102,750 in revenue from permits from new construction and remodeling, the fund received only $87,448.

Although employees will receive a 3.16 percent cost-of-living increase and some may earn a 5 percent merit raise, the city’s overall personnel costs will be down by 5 percent from last year’s budget, Sinclair said. The reductions are due to the departure of some long-term employees, including the city’s police chief, who had been receiving salaries in the high end of their pay scales.

Their replacements are beginning at the lower end of the pay scale and are under a modified state Public Employee Retirement System that requires reduced contributions from the city, Sinclair said.

The city has 32.34 full-time-equivalent employees, she said. Although several consultants are hired through the year, there isn’t enough work to consider bringing on more employees, she said.

Proposed capital projects include trail development, repairs to Whale Park, facilities improvements, upgrading the Pacific Way pump station and improvements to the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve.


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