02-20-2018, City Council Meeting Wrap up!
We have taken a big step toward getting a skate park! The council authorized city staff to apply for a grant to build a skate park at the YMCA. As a testament to our renewed and growing partnership with the YMCA, the YMCA sent a letter to the city expressing the support of the project signed by the CEO and COO of the YMCA of Columbia Willamette.
We had many kids, teens, and parents at the meeting last night showing their support for the skate park. I also received many emails in favor of the skate park from youth in our community.
Some of you may have participated in the skate park poll last week. That poll also showed overwhelming support for this project. Over 80% of the residents want a skate park, and over 70% felt it would have a net positive impact on the community.
What's next? The staff will apply for the grant on April 1st. We should hear back from the state in September. Assuming it is approved, we should be starting construction in the spring of 2019.
Transient Lodging Taxes (TLT)
In the first work session, council received a briefing on TLT taxes. These are fees that you pay when you stay in a hotel, rental house, or AirBnB for less than 30 days. Sherwood is getting its first hotel, so we are exploring implementing a TLT tax. TLT tax revenue can be used to fund projects that support tourism. In case you're wondering, TLT revenue can only be used for these types of efforts, as state law does not allow us to use these funds for other city activities.
We do have 15 AirBnB's in Sherwood; they would be subject to the tax as well.
There is no decision at this time on implementing a TLT tax.
Staffing Compensation Study
The council had a work session after the regular meeting to review a staff compensation study that was completed. This study is important. The city has not updated its salary ranges in for over ten years. The city is only as good as the staff we have. Making sure we are competitive in the local marketplace in order to attract and retain great employees is critical, especially given that unemployment is so low. No decisions were made about compensation in the work session. This study will inform the budget process and future negotiations with our unions.