Local governments and schools to face another retirement cost increase
Government agencies in Oregon will be facing steeper payments to support the Public Employees Retirement System… Also known as PERS… After investment returns fell short. Government agencies in Oregon found out Friday that their share of contributions during the next two-year budget cycle that begins next year will increase t 45-percent… From a level of $2-billion to about $2.9-billion. Those increases will be borne by cities, counties, fir districts and other government subdivisions. The local budget decisions that will follow are likely to put new pressure on government services and public workforces that have already shrunken by the Great Recession and its aftermath.
Republican leaders were quick to point out the need to reform the system in order to free up funding for services. Representative Mark Johnson of Hood River also serves on that community’s school board. He says the hikes will “have a devastating impact on our already financially strapped public school system,” and said they also point out the need to make changes in the public pension system.
The system-wide increase ordered by the PERS board Friday represents a 4.9 percent increase in employer rates for the 2013-2015 biennium. This brings the total employer rate to 15.7 percent and represents a 30 percent rate increase over the current budget cycle.
Florence’s new off leash dog park officially opened this morning at 10:00. The bulk of the 40-thousand square foot facility was on “Make a Difference Day”‘ July 21st by members of the LDS church. What wasn’t completed that day has been finished up over the past few weeks by city crews. The park will be open from 8 AM to dusk, seven days a week. There are two sections inside the fenced perimeter. One section is set aside for smaller dogs only, while the greater section will be open to all canines and their human friends
If you’ve ever been curious as to how you might render bagpipe music on the fiddle, next month’s Celtic music festival in Yachats might be a good event to put on your calendar. Actually, there will be several different workshops focusing on various types of Celtic music along with one on Celtic knot art. The November 9th through 11th festival will also feature music and dancing performances, and even a Celtic fashion show. It’s based in the Yachats Commons, but “cameo” performances will be offered at various locations around that coastal community.