SISTERS, OR -- A developer has purchased the first of three parcels that make up the administrative site for the Sisters Ranger District. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says money from the sales will be re-invested in a new facility elsewhere in the Sisters area, "So that we can build a new District Ranger office that will better meet the needs of our employees, in terms of housing them all in one office, be more energy efficient and cut down on operating costs, and also be better for visitor services. Right now, we’re not exactly ADA compliant in all of our buildings." She tells KBND News the Forest Service isn't fully utilizing the 80-acre site and there could be long-term savings from improving technology and efficiency, "Right now, a lot of items need to be repaired at our current facility that would cost more almost than building a new building. We consistently have some issues with our phones at this Ranger District, and it’s not exactly energy efficient," she says, "So, really trying to reduce our overall operating costs when we build a new building."
The $1.5 million sale announced this week involves an 18-acre parcel, just north of Barclay Drive. The buyer is affiliated with Empire Construction and Development and plans to subdivide it into 2.5-acre industrial lots. Nelson Dean says the transaction is a win for the agency, the buyer and the city of Sisters. "That property will move into their Urban Growth Boundary and we will get a new facility out of it. So, we’re still looking at selling the next two parcels. And then, depending on what we get overall, evaluating where we can go and what we can build." A 47-acre parcel and another that’s just under 15 acres, remain available.