BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will formalize the city’s budget next month, and the final proposal includes a last minute addition. City Manager Eric King says the adjustment takes millions away from the reconstruction of Galveston Avenue and applies the money to a roundabout at Purcell and Empire in northeast Bend.
King tells KBND News, "The mayor was looking at ways to compromise on the budget. So, it was really part of a larger package of addressing a variety of interests from both Council and citizen budget committee members. So, there was probably a half dozen or so changes, and that being one of them – some shifting of some dollars for transportation." It also includes funding for additional police officers.
The Galveston project isn’t dead. King says, "The compromise that Council and the Budget Committee worked out was move forward with design of Galveston; we’re about 30% of the way through the design. But then, it really becomes a shovel-ready project. It could be grants, it could be as that street develops – so, as private development investment comes in it provides a blueprint for how to make some of those changes to include sidewalks and storm drains. Or, it could be part of a larger general – an obligation bond that voters approve."
The proposal is part of a broader plan to use $35 million over the next six years for new road construction projects, "So these are either rebuilding deteriorating roads or new roads to help improve the system," says King. "So, that was another piece of the budget process of moving some of the priorities around. One of the decision points was to take our Capital Improvement Program - that’s a five year program – and reprioritize some of those projects, including Galveston; removing the construction of Galveston and redirecting that to a roundabout at Empire and Purcell."
Councilors are scheduled to vote on the budget June 21.