REDMOND, OR -- Mayor George Endicott took a look back at the past year, and cast vision for Redmond's future, during Wednesday's State of the City Address. He highlighted improvements at the airport, major housing projects now in the pipeline and upgrades to several parks, including the Dry Canyon, "We just purchased 36 acres at the north end of the canyon to add to our parks system. That's the largest land acquisition for parks that we've ever made. We do have in our Council goals the number of acres that should be serving our city; and, we should have four acres per thousand. Even with this, we still have about a 30 acre deficiency."
He talked about the two hotels under development near Highway 97 and Yew Avenue, one from Choice Hotels, the other from Hilton. "Also, we are negotiating right now with a third hotel that would go on some of the airport property right near the fairgrounds. That deal is not inked yet, so I can't say too much more about it; but, it looks like Redmond is going to get three new hotels in the very near future." Renovations are also underway on the New Redmond Hotel, an historic building that will be remodeled into the city's first boutique hotel. He says more lodging opportunities are needed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors traveling through the Redmond Airport. Endicott announced Alaska Air will fly larger 737s direct to Seattle, starting in June.
During the address, Mayor Endicott also discussed challenges the city faces, "Affordable housing is a statewide issue, we all have that problem; we're all trying to solve it in different ways. We approved that development last night, and one of the requirements in there is that about 30 of the units are going to have what we call accessory dwelling units - that's a government term for 'granny flats,' if you will. The good news is, we're doing it up front so they can build it into the design." He lamented about the growing PERS liability and the need for more police. A budget proposal released yesterday suggests pulling some funding from parks and transportation to pay for three new officers and a tech. The Budget Committee starts work on that proposal, next week.