BEND, OR -- Bend City officials are looking to the results of a new community survey to help guide future decisions on everything from street maintenance to public safety. City Manager Eric King tells KBND News hundreds of residents are questioned on a variety of topics, every two years. "The intent of that survey, to do it every couple of years, is to help inform our budget development process. We do two-year budgets, and we are just in the middle of developing that budget now. So, data we get back from that survey helps us understand what the priorities of the citizens are, and how to allocate the resources to meet those priorities," he said.
King said Bend residents are happy with the overall direction and performance of city government. However, there is one key issue that most respondents to the survey were worried about, "People are concerned around street maintenance, road infrastructure in general. Traffic congestion is part of that, but I think it’s a bigger picture of how we’re moving people around Bend, and there’s some concern around there. And, it also matches up with my concern as a City manager, and us being able to adequately address our street maintenance issues when we’ve got a funding source that’s structurally out of whack.
King says the city relies on state gas tax money to help fund most street maintenance projects." And, with more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, there is less of that money to go around while construction costs are on the rise.
400 citizens responded to the community survey and King says growth was also a common theme. "Some are concerned that growth could deteriorate that quality of life, others see it as a positive thing. I think that pretty closely matches what we experience everyday with a lot of conflict around managing growth. So, when we talk about our Urban Growth Boundary expansion and where Bend’s gonna grow and how it’s gonna grow, there’s a lot of divergent values in Bend." Nearly all participants responded that the environment, outdoors and recreation were the best things about Bend.
Read the full survey report HERE