BEND, OR -- The city of Bend has struggled to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, a local advocate is pushing the City Council to fund the work needed.
Brian Douglass submitted his plan Monday, which outlines how the city can bring the remaining 5,300 sidewalks, curbs and ramps into compliance. "We put together a list of eight or ten items that we thought could be used to generate enough income over a 20-year period to be able to repay the bonds."
Potential funding sources include revenue bonds, a 3% tax on cannabis, a 10% real estate transfer tax, a 7.5% food & beverage tax and a $15 arrival and departure fee at the Redmond airport, which would be split between Bend and Redmond to fund accessibility projects. "At least three of the Councilors have responded to the proposal, even to this third and final draft. They've been very positive. They needed a solution to the problem. And, instead of a 12-person committee, they got a proposal from a single advocate, basically." Douglass adds, "I'm very encouraged by it. It's the best working relationship and the most positive working relationship that I've seen in all the 25 years that I've been working on this. City staff, the City Manager, City Attorney, the folks in the Public Works Department, when we asked a questions, we got a prompt answer."
Douglass hopes to put the issue to voters next May.