Portland to spend $12 million surplus on police, homeless, roads and new positions



Portland to spend $12 million surplus on police, homeless, roads and new positions

The city of Portland has a $12 million surplus from last year's budget, and it plans to spend much of it to add to the city's police force, operate homeless shelters and complete infrastructure projects.

The new spending, approved Wednesday, will be on top of the $516 million spending plan for 2017-18 that the City Council approved in May.

In addition to adding temporary jobs to the police force to prepare for a wave of retirements, the council approved adding 66 other full-time jobs  across the city's 27 bureaus.

At least 50 percent of funds leftover from the beginning budget — $6 million — will go to major maintenance and infrastructure costs, as city rules require. About $5 million will go to a bridge replacement project on Northeast 42nd Avenue at Lombard Street. The Portland Communication Center and the Justice Center will each get $500,000 to ensure uninterrupted power. In April, a power outage at the Bureau of Emergency Communications blocked calls to 911 for a half an hour.

Among the largest discretionary allocations approved Wednesday were $2 million for the Portland Police Bureau and $1.7 million for the Joint Office of Homeless services to add year-round and winter emergency shelters for homeless people. The council also approved $570,000 for increased security at City Hall.

"The city continues to benefit from a strong economy, allowing us to make additional investments in urgent priorities," Mayor Ted Wheeler said.

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