BEND, OR -- Bend’s City Council appears ready to make a financial contribution to restoring Mirror Pond. They’re working on a resolution that would designate funding, "To put some community dollars aside from the general fund, towards work and to put together a joint resolution with Bend Parks and Rec," says Mayor Sally Russell. Parks and Recreation is being asked to lead the project. Russell says the city will contribute $300,000 a year for ten years, to total no more than $3 million.
"Care of the pond and the area around it is a priority that has been expressed by many people. A lot of people are concerned how it’s going to get done – asking a lot of environmentally directed questions," Russell tells KBND News, "And then, the question of whether or not we can actually put some fish passage on that dam, even though no steelhead or salmon actually come to the upper part of the Deschutes."
She would like to see the project include more than dredging, "We wrote the resolution in a way to look at opening the opportunity to explore fish passage, once more. Silt removal is one element of what we’re looking at on Mirror Pond." The resolution also specifies the city would have no ongoing or future commitment to operating or maintaining the iconic pond.
Also at this week's meeting, the City Council approved a letter to be sent by the Mayor to the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council asking the agency to address neighbor complaints regarding Hawthorne Station. "We just needed to make them aware of the issues and the concerns that some of the neighbors have around the transit area." Mayor Russell says she and the Council recognize there are things the city can do to help with things like traffic congestion and loitering. But, she says her letter asks for COIC to take an active role. "We’re trying to do our side, but we need you to partner with us more completely in addressing the issues that have been brought up by the neighbors."
Russell’s letter suggests adding signs to show where people can park while waiting to pick up or drop off transit users, creating strategies to reduce congestion, and working with the police department to crack down on substance abuse, trespassing and other crimes in the neighborhood.