Businesses and residents in Corvallis are seeing a new fee on their utility bills this month. The money will go toward hiring more firefighters and police officers.
The fee was approved by Corvallis City Council and will cost the about $17 per month per single-family home. The city expects the new fees to bring in about four-and-a-half million dollars per year.
Corvallis city manager Mark Shepard said the money will allow the city’s police force to engage in more community policing, including the kind that gets officers out of their patrol vehicles and talking with people. "Right now they’re just running from call to call,” he said.
Shepard said the hiring process is already underway for the new officers and firefighters. The fee is on a monthly "City Services" bill that includes water and sewer services, as well as separate fees for streets and public transportation.
Here is a breakdown of the monthly fees that appear on a typical City of Corvallis bill for a single-family home:
Street maintenance fee - $2.01
Sidewalk maintenance fee - $0.80
Transit operations fee - $3.16
Urban forestry fee - $0.50
Police safety fee - $12.10
Fire safety fee - $5.21
The final two fees on that list together make up the new "public safety fee."
Note: This article has been updated to remove references to "homeowners." The new fee is paid by anyone who receives a "City Services" bill.