REDMOND, OR -- Bend and Redmond city councils held a joint work session at Redmond City Hall Tuesday, sharing progress on issues and initiatives affecting both cities: homelessness, highway traffic, and community engagement.
Bend Councilor Megan Perkins reported on the Houseless Response Office possibly moving under the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, “One of the reasons why we're excited about this potential is COIC already is doing this work with homelessness and they have a lot of experience, this is what they do. They do regional solutions and a regional approach to this work.”
Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch spoke about plans for a managed homeless camp, a safe RV parking area, and the East Redmond Campus attached to Oasis Village, “Hopefully with all three in place, we would be able to accommodate most if not all the homeless in Redmond, along with the shelters like Shepherd's house and Bethlehem Inn.”
Fitch says they need more affordable housing, “So I think our biggest challenge is somehow getting more opportunities. A lot of it is going to take public investment in the land and then working with builders.”
Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler told Councilors about progress made in her city, “We've had good success with our safe parking sites, which I think Redmond has experienced as well. So, I think we're on the same page there is that is a relatively low barrier tool.”
Councilors also discussed ways to get the public involved in, and aware of city business.
It was the first meeting between the two councils in 40 years. Both cities agreed to hold joint meetings in the future.