May 3rd, 2011 10:31 am | News | Posted In: City Hall

City Hall: Mayor Keeps Leaf Fee, Ditches River Patrol (For Now)

lede2_sam_adams_3715 Sam Adams -

Mayor Sam Adams today revealed his proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Among some of the features of Adams' $408 million general fund discretionary budget:

  • Maintaining what the mayor called "the ever popular" annual leaf-removal fee in neighborhoods with tree canopy. A survey earlier this year showed 48 percent of respondents "disagreed" with the fee while 47 percent "agreed." Earlier this year, Adams had said he would use the results of polling to determine whether to keep the fee. He said the results of the survey showed Portlanders were split on the question. Therefore, he "made the call" to keep the fee. But he's also keeping the opt-out program. "If you clean the leaves in front of your yard, you don't have to pay a thing," Adams added.
  • The mayor's proposal from his February State of the City address that the city this year would take over Multnomah County's river patrol appears frozen. The mayor proposed this switch in order to free up money at the county for needed social-service programs. Since February, numerous questions have arisen about the plan. But Adams says he's going to continue talking with Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton about the proposal. "It's going to take longer," Adams explained.
There remain a number of unresolved questions about the budget. One is whether Portland's Water Bureau will switch from quarterly billing to monthly billing. We'll have a more complete look at the budget's winners and losers later today.
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