BEND, OR -- Bend City Council continues to work through development of its next two-year budget. They set goals last month, and this week approved a preliminary draft of strategies to achieve those budget goals. City Manager Eric King says Council has agreed to some lofty transportation projects, "About $32 million worth of projects over the next couple of years, with focus on intersection improvements like Neff and Purcell, Reed Market and Third Street, Reed Market and Bond Street, Wells Acres and Butler Market, 27th and Conners; a number of them to tackle in the next couple of years." He says the money for those projects will come from increasing revenue, "They chose a fairly aggressive option, with includes increasing franchise fees; those are the fees that get paid to utility companies that use the city’s right of way. It also involves increasing transportation System Development Charges to get more transportation projects."
King says Council has also asked that affordable housing be a big focus, "One of the things they would like to be is to be more aggressive with the number of housing units that we’re trying to come online over the next two years; so we’re going to provide them with an option of what that would look like. We’re moving towards more ‘smart goals.’ So, those are goals that are more specific, measurable, attainable and can really demonstrate success to community."
City staff will present a revised work plan, on Wednesday, based on feedback received this week, "We’re going to give them some options for next week’s Council meeting, and then a couple of other word-smithing changes and making sure that we’re aligned with what their intent is," King tells KBND News, "So, we’re cleaning up the document and then we’ll be presenting that to them at their regular business meeting on March 20th and asking for a vote." If approved, it will provide the framework for budget deliberations in May, before the final budget is adopted in June. The budget then goes into effect July first.