BEND, OR -- Deschutes County has – for the most part – rebounded from the recession. Commissioner Tammy Baney says Tuesday's sold out State of the County presentation will highlight improvements made over the past year and the challenges expected in the future.
One of biggest themes of the event is likely to be the $356 million budget. Commissioner Baney tells KBND News, "What is significant about this budget is that we reduced the tax rate by three-cents. And, individual property owner: I know that doesn’t seem significant. But what we’re trying to do is to reconcile what we need with what we need to provide. And then, the remainder of that stays in your pocket." She says next year’s budget discussion could be very different, "The PERS [Public Employees Retirement System] liability for local government is real, and it is great. The Secure Rural Schools dollars are going away; those are the timber payments and that can be significant, so that’s an uncertainty. And, just the cost of growth and what that means in terms of being able to provide the right level of services: solid waste and roads, etc."
Tuesday's presentation will also address the region's need for more workforce housing. Baney says, "I think the biggest piece is helping the city of Bend now move into the second phase of the UGB expansion; assisting them in any way that we can in making sure the developable land is available for housing, in general. We need entry level housing; we need multi-family housing; we need housing for all individuals in our community: teachers, baristas; I mean, you pick it, law enforcement. It’s us. We need housing for us."
They'll also look at what the newly passed state transportation package could mean for the area, land issues surrounding legalized marijuana and how the county is preparing for the eclipse. The event is part of the Bend Chamber's "What's Brewing Series" at Deschutes Brewery. Click HERE
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