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The City is required by law to adopt and operate within a balanced budget.

When the costs of providing services exceeds revenue, cuts in services have to be made or additional revenues have to be applied. These are hard choices. In June 2021, Council decided to enact a city services fee to avoid cuts to crucial programs and services that our residents value and have come to expect.

A city services fee does not restore cuts to staffing, programs, and services made in the 2019-2021 biennial budget, but it may help maintain staffing levels and prevent further cuts to valuable services and programs in the 2021-2023 biennium.


These are some of the cuts that would have been necessary in the 2021-2023 biennium without a city services fee:

Fire (33% of the General Fund, plus 50% of dedicated Public Safety Levy funds):

  • Dual-role Firefighter/EMTs (6 positions to maintain current response times, favorable fire insurance rating, and minimum staffing levels)
  • Deputy Fire Marshal (1 position)
  • Training Lieutenant (1 position, currently vacant)
  • Senior Deputy Fire Marshal (1 position, currently vacant)

Police (32% of the General Fund, plus 50% of dedicated Public Safety Levy funds):

  • Dedicated traffic officer (1 position)
  • School Resource Officer program (2 positions)
  • Communications supervisor (1 position)
  • Current customer service levels which allow for follow-up investigations on property and traffic crimes
  • Agency accreditation and compliance with mandatory state reporting

Parks & Recreation (20% of the General Fund):

  • Mowing and irrigation at neighborhood parks
  • Open restrooms in the summer
  • Current hours at the Albany Community Pool and Riverfront Community Center (formerly senior center)
  • Restoration of one River Rhythms concert in 2022
  • Maintenance projects backlog in parks and facilities, including at both pools
  • Replacement of 50-year-old equipment at Henderson and Deerfield parks that doesn't meet modern safety and accessibility standards
  • Seasonal plantings at parks
  • Natural Resource Development Specialist (1 position)

Library (7% of the General Fund):

  • Main Library open more than the proposed 5 days a week and the Carnegie Library more than the proposed 4 days a week.

Municipal Court (2% of the General Fund):

  • Half-time Court Clerk to help keep pace with current citation volume

While we're continually looking for efficiencies, it was not enough to close the gap.

One of our seven core values at the City of Albany is fiscal responsibility. From management to line staff, all City employees understand the need to be good stewards of our precious resources, and they work every day to optimize those resources. We are always looking for ways to be more efficient while providing high-quality services including the use of new technologies, rethinking how services are delivered, implementing energy efficiency and conservation programs, charging for programs and services where it makes sense, and leveraging volunteer hours and sponsorship dollars where possible.

The City also contends with rising costs of software licenses, health insurance, cybersecurity threats, compliance with state and Federal laws, labor, materials, etc. Some cost savings can be achieved by combining, eliminating, or leaving positions unfilled, but doing so exposes the City to risks that potentially could come with their own significant financial or operational impacts.

These are some of the cuts made in the previous biennium:

Fire (33% of the General Fund, plus 50% of dedicated Public Safety Levy funds):

  • Cut Firefighter/EMTs (3 positions)

Police (32% of the General Fund, plus 50% of dedicated Public Safety Levy funds):

  • Cut Police Lieutenants (2 positions)
  • Cut Police Officers (2 positions)
  • Cut Communications Specialist (1 position)
  • Cut Police Clerks (2 position)

Parks & Recreation (20% of the General Fund):

  • Cut Aquatics Manager (1 position)
  • Cut Building Maintenance II (1 position) in aquatics
  • Discontinued adult sports leagues and cut program
  • Cut Events & Programs Recreation Coordinator (1 position)
  • Cut Recreation Aide (1 position)
  • One River Rhythms concert canceled
  • Modified mowing and irrigation in parks
  • Closed restrooms in summer

Library (7% of the General Fund):

  • Main Library reduced to five days of operation per week
  • Carnegie Library reduced to four days of operation per week
  • Cut part-time Library Aide (1 position)
  • Cut new materials budget completely

Municipal Court (2% of the General Fund):

  • Cut half-time Court Clerk (1 position)

Revenue isn't keeping pace with the community need.

As we continue to grow, the need for essential services grows. Providing City services relies on people.

In the past 10 years, Albany population has grown by 11.5% to 57,199*. Our staffing today is approaching levels during the Great Recession while Albany population and demand on services continues to grow. By 2045, Albany’s population is expected to grow to 71,835.

Total General Fund FTE

csf fte populationClick to enlarge

Total General Fund FTE by department

csf gf fte graph splitClick to enlarge

*July 1, 2021 estimate, Portland State University Population Research Center


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