BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors voted Wednesday night to allocate more money from the general fund to street maintenance and preservation.
City Manager Eric King tells KBND News the $4.7 million will come from a number of sources, in an effort to keep public safety budget - which is the biggest portion of the general fund - in tact. "We have a land sale that’s going to be providing some additional resources into the general fund. It’s one-time revenue, but that’s going to go to streets. We also had a light winter year again last year, so we had reserves in our street fund; that’ll go back into street maintenance. We also had an increase in transient room tax revenues; that is part of that roughly $4.7 million over two years."
King adds, "By law, property taxes can only go up 3% per year, but new growth adds to that. Bend was the fastest growing city in the state this year, so again, that revenue – which translated into a couple hundred thousand dollars – we’ve really prioritized street maintenance. So, any additional revenue makes up that $4.7 million."
The infusion of funds is only a small portion of the $80 million needed to get Bend’s streets back up to par, and King points out it’s not a long-term fix. Councilors will discuss the possibility of imposing a local gas tax at a public hearing at Council Chambers, November 30 at 6 p.m.
To hear more of our conversation with City Manager Eric King, visit our Podcast Page.