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Side Notes 

The City of Bend is currently accepting applications for an open position on the Bend Planning Commission. Planning Commission members are appointed by City Council to review and make recommendations regarding land use throughout the city. If you're a resident of Bend, this is an excellent chance to help shape our city as it grows. Please see www.bendoregon/committees for more information and application materials. The City will be accepting applications until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 25.

Members have been selected for the Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee, and meetings are scheduled for Thursday, September 17, October 1, 15, and 29, November 12, and December 3 at 4 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St.

You may have noticed changes in your City of Bend utility bill over the past month. This is due to changes in the billing structure, which were put into effect by a City Council Resolution late last year, and were finally rolled out as of July 1. The impact is hitting your mailbox, and quite possibly your bank account. Water utility fees are now calculated based on consumption, rather than everyone being charged a flat fee for 400 cfs like they were in the past, regardless of use. Although there is still a base rate (typically $22-$25 for residential accounts), residents are now being charged for exactly what they consume, which means that it pays to conserve water. Sewer charges are now also calculated according to use. Volume charges are based on a winter quarter average, calculated from water consumption in the billing periods of December, January, and February of each year. So if you're gasping at the sight of your utility bill, you might give it some thought when you turn on the tap. If you're interested in learning more about how to conserve water, check out the City's Water Wise program at http://www.bend.or.us/index.aspx?page=1085.

Deschutes County was recently awarded the Drug Free Communities Grant. The county was one of only two Oregon communities to receive the award, which will provide The Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention much needed support to prevent and reduce youth substance use. Congratulations Deschutes County!

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