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Commissioners Formally Deny Petition For New City Of Mountain View

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners unanimously agreed Wednesday to not reconsider their denial of the Mountain View incorporation. The original proposal was to incorporate 265 square miles into a new city. The area includes Millican.

Commissioner Phil Chang says there may be other ways forward for the community southeast of Bend, "What interests me about this whole proposal and this application is trying to provide better services for Deschutes County residents. If incorporation or special districts are two potential pathways to pursue better services, I think there are probably more and we’re open to discuss those."

County Counsel Dave Doyle told Commissioners forming a special district for fire or other services would be a separate process. "It would operate completely independent and autonomous of anything that the county would be involved with. And it has about as much chance, I think, of getting off the ground as the city incorporation did." He went on to say, "There’s 150 people out there in an area the size of 10 Bends. You’re not going to get there from here. This fellow can keep trying and trying but he’s not going to get there. He’s eating up a lot of staff time and resources in the process."

Mountain View supporters say they plan to appeal the county’s decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals.

Also Wednesday, Commissioners received a briefing on how a federal government shutdown could impact local operations. County Treasurer Bill Kuhn told Commissioners local governments around the country will take a hit, "It’s estimated that it could affect as many as four-million federal workers that will be furloughed almost immediately, and a huge impact to our budget; $5 billion per week of wages taken out of the economy."

Commissioner Phil Chang asked about county-run programs that are funded by federal grants and the government, like WIC, which provides health and nutrition services for low-income women and children, "That critical support to those families is going to be cut off. So, I’m curious what that means for us in terms of whether that actually affects - not just the money we put out into the community, but our workforce."

County Chief Financial Officer Robert Tintle said some programs might be able to continue, "What I’ve experienced in the past during these shutdowns, a lot of times, especially grant funded or federally funded programs, funding may be delayed in some areas. Eventually they may catch up, sometimes, depending on if that funding source has a reserve or they have funds they can utilize until they get the additional funds."

In Central Oregon, furloughs could impact everything from the Forest Service and BLM, to the TSA screeners at the airport."


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