BEND, OR -- Bend is moving forward on a plan to preserve Mirror Pond. Mayor Sally Russell says the joint resolution approved last week by City Council takes a collaborative approach with Bend Parks and Recreation. "It builds on the plan that the community put together back in 2015-2016." She tells KBND News, "It allows for a little refreshing of that plan, looks carefully at fish passage, it includes a huge group of projects that Parks has already approved in their budget that will really, I think, make great contributions to how everyone experiences the area in the parks on the edge of Mirror Pond, and then it does some silt removal."
Mayor Russell says she understands why some may oppose the city’s $3 million contribution for a project under Parks District jurisdiction. "Council, as an entity, has been looking at this for 15 years. We recognize that when the city was platted, it was actually physically platted around Mirror Pond and it is still one of the center-pieces in Bend. And, it’s a relatively small ongoing contribution for something the community has identified as a priority." In the resolution, the city agrees to contribute up to 50% of the overall preservation project, or $3 million, whichever is less, over the next 10 years, "We voted as a Council 7-0 and the Parks District voted 4-1. So, huge support from both these entities to move forward with this conversation."
Critics have also wondered what will become of the pond if Pacific Power ever sells the dam that forms the body of water, but Russell says the city received assurances the utility is committed to the hydro dam for the long term. The resolution lays out steps for both the city and Parks District, but Russell says it will still take a while to come to fruition. Next will be a memorandum of understanding, followed by an Intergovernmental agreement.