BEND, OR -- The group Advocates for Disabled Americans, Inc. asked the Bend City Council Wednesday night to consider a tax on water and sewer users. Brian Douglass told Councilors it could would raise $100 million, or $8.5 million a year for up to 15 years, to finance construction of sidewalks and curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The revenue stream is created from a monthly fee or tax on city water-sewer accounts. This additional charge will increase incrementally based on the amount of construction work that can be done over a given three year period and the actual amount of the debt that is issued.”
Douglass asked for a three-tiered approach to the issue. “One, place this issue on the council agenda now; number two, hold any legally required public hearings. And most importantly, hold an up or down vote by June the 30.”
Advocates for Disabled Americans is one of seven members of the Make Bend Accessible Coalition, which has been pushing for more accessible sidewalks and curbs for several years. Councilors agreed to schedule a work session to discuss the proposal.