BEND, OR -- After operating the Juniper Utility water system for 14 years, Bend City Councilors heard public testimony Wednesday night regarding selling the utility to Roats and Avion water companies.
Representatives from four affected subdivisions addressed the Council. All who testified supported the sale. One resident said, "We recommend the city council members approve the divestiture agreement as presented." Another added, "If you pass this resolution and if the sale goes through, you will have 1,500 very happy constituents." Others echoed, "The 161 homeowners of Tillicum Village are in great favor of the sale of the former Juniper Utility to Roats and Avion. Please let’s move forward." The Council unanimously approved the sale.
Avion and Roats approached the city about buying the system that serves several neighborhoods on the south side of Bend. Jason Wick, President of Avion Water, believes they can serve these residents better than the city. "The idea came about after watching a City Council meeting where the homeowner associations' presidents were explaining the problems they were having trying to meet the funding required by the city to go to a one-pipe system and get rid of their irrigation water." Wick tells KBND News, "Avion water company has been providing domestic and irrigation to many subdivisions since its creation in 1968, which gives it 48-years of experience with dual-pipe systems. The city of Bend doesn't have much experience with those in a neighborhood setting and Avion does. With the neighborhoods' locations, we approached Roats because the inner-ties with their systems for Mountain High, Tillicum Village and Timber Ridge would be very easy to do." Avion will take over customers in Stone Gate and Knottingham neighborhoods.
This agreement means the city won't have to make needed expensive repairs to the water system and costs for customers should decline.
In other business, the Bend-La Pine School District asked Councilors to delay a final decision on the designation of Troy Field until May so the district can sell the property. Councilor Victor Chudowski said, "The key really is to get a cooperative agreement with them and avoid lawsuits." The Council agreed to take up the issue at it’s May 4 meeting.