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Warrenton, Cannon Beach, Gearhart Brace For Impacts

While Seaside is thanking its good fortune, three other cities in Clatsop County are watching what the Legislature does and gearing up for their budget cycles in late spring.

Warrenton waiting

The city of Warrenton also participates in the Public Employee Retirement System program, as it is a mandate. City Manager Kurt Fritsch says that although the proposal for increases is significant, it is something he believes the city should be able to deal with.

“While it is a significant proposal, right now we believe we can handle it with existing revenues,” he said. “The bottom line is we will have to wait and see how this plays out.”

The impact of the increase would affect the 2013-14 budget through 2016, when another increase could come.

For now, more than $115,000 is expected to hit the city of Warrenton in the form of an increase. But in the bigger picture of a $23 million operating budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, the increase is just a small percentage.

Cannon Beach eyes sources of money

In Cannon Beach, City Finance Director Renee Sinclair expects the city will see a 29 percent increase that’s $90,000 – in PERS contributions. The city pays $308,448 a year, or about 3.08 percent of its $10 million budget.

So far, she said, it hasn’t been decided where the money will come from. The city budget committee and the City Council will make that decision this spring when the 2013-14 budget is considered.

Gearhart sharpens pencils

Gearhart City Administrator Chad Sweet anticipates a 26 percent increase in PERS payments beginning next year. Of the city’s $1.6 million general fund budget, PERS contributions make up $53,184. In the next budget cycle, that amount will go to $67,011.

Some of the increase might come from a contingency fund set aside for overtime pay, Sweet said. But he expects he will also have to look elsewhere in the budget.

“We will watch that carefully and sharpen our pencils,” Sweet said. “We’re small and efficient and will continue to watch our budget for savings.”

This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.

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