Ashland Discusses New Budget

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ASHLAND, Ore. — On Wednesday evening, the first of several meetings for the proposed budget for the next two years for the city of Ashland will be take place at the council chambers. This is the first time the city will attempt to approve a biennial budget.

Wednesday night’s meeting will be the first of several weekly meetings on the proposed budget and each week different city departments will make presentations to Ashland’s citizens’ budget committee. The Ashland Fire Department is one city department looking to make some changes in the proposed two-year budget.

Fire officials say they are hoping to re-instate a fire inspector, a position that was lost in 2008 due to budget cuts. Officials say since losing that position, inspections of target hazards have been deferred and have been unable to be completed.

“Reinstating that position will allow us to do more consistent inspections of our target hazards our schools, assembly occupancies, theaters and large restaurants,” said Ashland Fire Department Chief John Karns.

The fire department is also looking at purchasing two new fire engines to replace their aging units. Officials say there is an advantage to purchasing them together because there would be a discount and the two trucks would be identical making it easier on fire crews.

City officials said today the Ashland citizens’ budget committee will also have the option of deciding to use $100,000 in reserve funds to help pay for a center that would help the homeless population.