Ashland City Council to hold hearing on city budget

The Ashland City Council will hold a public hearing about a proposed $82,619,962 city budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The owner of a home assessed at $225,000, the median in Ashland, would pay $1,032.10 in city property taxes.

Assessed values are significantly below market values because of property tax limitations approved by state voters.

Property taxes would go up by $26.46 for the owner of a median-value home to prevent two firefighter/paramedics and the Community Emergency Response Team coordinator from being laid off. That money would also keep a full-time police clerk from being cut to half time.

The owner of a median-value home would also see taxes increase by $13.50 in the coming fiscal year to supplement Ashland Public Library Services. Ashland voters previously approved a levy to supplement limited Jackson County library funding.

After hearing from any members of the public who wish to speak, the City Council will consider whether to give initial approval for the budget. Final approval could come on June 16.

Other agenda items include:

• reviewing and commenting on the Ashland Forest Lands Restoration Project Phase III, which involves thinning to reduce wildfire fuels in the city-owned Winburn Parcel in the Ashland Watershed;

• establishing Ashland Municipal Court fees;

• deciding how to spend $50,060 in federal economic stimulus money that is intended for housing projects;

• considering whether to repeal a city law that bicyclists must ride within five feet of the curb;

• and considering whether to pay $48,000 for a scaled-down design for replacing Fire Station No. 2 on Ashland Street and considering whether to pay $5,000 for a grant writer to write a grant seeking federal economic stimulus money to replace the station. In 2006, Ashland voters rejected a bond measure that would have provided money to reconstruct the station.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit the city Web site by clicking here.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or

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