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Bend City Council

Thursday, September 5, 2013

City Council Revisits Downtown Building Heights, Approves Limited Variance for First Reading

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 12:36 AM

The lot adjacent to bend Brewing Company remains empty due to lack of developer interest. Property owners say a height variance would give them more options. Source Weekly file photo.
  • The lot adjacent to bend Brewing Company remains empty due to lack of developer interest. Property owners say a height variance would give them more options. Source Weekly file photo.

"Oregonians hate two things," Councilor Victor Chudowsky said, referencing a quote from former Metro Executive Officer Mike Burton that appeared in National Geographic magazine. "They hate sprawl. And they hate density."

It was a fitting summation of a lengthy debate over a proposal to reinstitute the prohibition on height variances on the west side of Brooks Street between Franklin Avenue and Newport Avenue.

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Riverside/Galveston/Tumalo Closure Sparks Safety, Business Concerns

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Residents says drivers arent following the intended detour. Image via City of Bend.
  • Residents says drivers aren't following the intended detour. Image via City of Bend.

The intersection at Northwest Riverside Boulevard, Galveston Avenue, and Northwest Tumalo Avenue is only two days into a two month construction closure, but area residents and business owners are already over it.

At the Sept. 4 Bend City Council meeting, the visitor's section was filled with concerns about the project's impact. Among the chief concerns: Increased traffic on State Street, pedestrian safety, limited access to Galveston Avenue businesses, and a lack of advance notice for those in the effected neighborhoods.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Council meeting fizzles in heat of summer

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Sharply dressed, members of the Bend City Council could have conducted business set to Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” Wednesday night. (Listen while you read, really, it might spice it up)

However, discussions weren’t quite as sharp, as the topics went from moderately interesting to humdrum.

Trees were a point of discussion during the work session in regards to the city’s tree removal process. A panel composed of city staff explained to councilors just how it breaks down, such as when complaints are made, or when trees pose a threat.

Bend’s Public Works Director Paul Rheault said everyone enjoys trees, but that they become a problem with sewer lines.

“Trees are always seeking water,” he pointed out. “They wedge their way into pipes and ultimately cause destruction.”

An issue with a tree at Franklin Avenue and Ninth Street recently sparked talks on whether the city should form a tree board.

Mayor Jim Clinton voiced his support, but some on council felt if a board hasn’t been necessary in the past, why is it now.

From there, basic housekeeping items were discussed, and residents spoke during public comment, one of whom suggested Councilor Doug Knight is placed on the Mirror Pond Committee.

Things got a little heated when councilors Mark Capell and Victor Chudowsky, who both already sit on the pond committee, defended themselves about continuing to serve in the roles.

“We made a certain commitment to bring this thing to fruition,” Chudowsky said.

Councilor Scott Ramsay joked he couldn’t believe four councilors wanted to serve on a committee involving a topic that’s divided the community.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Transient Room Tax Resolution Passes

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Screen_shot_2013-06-26_at_4.50.39_PM.png

The Bend City Council put months of discussion to rest Wednesday night by passing the Transient Room Tax Resolution, 5-2. Voters will decide in November if the tax-rate on rooms should jump from 9 to 10.4 percent.
The decision didn’t come easily, though. After hearing support from several business figures in the community, council members expressed their own concerns with the tax.

Councilor Mark Capell, although in support of the measure, brought up the notion of an advisory committee being formed to again thoroughly discuss the tax and receive feedback from those the tax would affect directly. Council members agreed a committee to open up dialogue would be in the best interest of a number of entities.

“Ultimately, we want to be as sharp and as effective as we can with those dollars — that’s the bottom line,” Councilor Sally Russell said.

Funding, as discussed in previous meetings, would mostly flow into tourism, the arts and emergency services.
Mayor Jim Clinton also voiced support of the resolution and listed its upsides.
“If voters pass this, it makes a strong statement about our commitment in Bend to moving our arts and culture to another level,” he said.

Council Members Jodie Barram, Doug Knight, Mark Capell and Sally Russell, as well as Mayor Clinton voted ‘yes’ for the resolution, while Council Members Victor Chudowsky and Scott Ramsay voted ‘no.’

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Police May Gut Services

Finances at the city of Bend are getting tight and, to be real frank, the sh*t is starting to hit the fan, particularly for the Bend Police Department.

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 7:05 PM

NOTE: This blog looks long. Read it anyway—or skip to bullet points for the hair raising information.

Finances at the city of Bend are getting tight and, to be real frank, the sh*t is starting to hit the fan, particularly for the Bend Police Department.

Police Chief Jeff Sale gave a super bleak presentation to the Bend City Council last night about what will happen if the department does not get more cash.

Basically, the department will have to gut programs, lay off staff and pull back services A LOT, said the chief.

Here’s the plan he laid out last night. Keep in mind it’s just a proposal. The city could allocate more resources to the department and make this plan go away, he said. But if city councilors do that, they probably have to take cash from something else. In other words, see the first paragraph of this little blog.

2012 Proposed Service Reductions

  • Elimination of Youth Enhancement Services program, which is like diversion for kids who commit low level crimes like shop lifting, smoking, etc.
  • Stop investigating credit card fraud if the victim gets reimbursed
  • No more property crime and theft investigations under $100,000, unless the person is over 65

2013 Proposed Service Reductions

  • Reduction in responses to calls for barking dogs, noisy parties, etc.
  • No more investigation into prostitution unless it involves a minor
  • No more burglary investigation unless it appears to be a serial crime
  • Stop looking into computer related crime

2014 Proposed Service Reductions

  • No more property crime and theft investigation under $250,000, unless person is over 65 or has a disability
  • Stop proactive searches for people in possession of child porn
  • Stop looking into most runaway cases

2015 Proposed Service Reductions

  • Eliminate the School Resource Officer Program
  • No more suspicious death investigations
  • No more investigation into any property crime and theft
  • Stop looking into missing people cases unless foul play is suspected

2016 Proposed Service Reductions

  • Eliminate traffic division
  • Stop investigating arson
  • Stop investigating robbery
  • Stop investigating sex abuse/rape unless the person is under 14, over 65, or has a disability

The result of all this is layoffs every single year, said the chief.

The effect of the presentation was generally to scare the hell out of the city councilors. One council said it’s like a public service announcement for criminals. Come to Bend, criminals, we don’t have the resources to catch you...

Sale said to the department needs two or three new full-time staff positions a year, which translates to about $200,000-$300,000 per year.

You can weigh in by contacting city councilors. Find their info by going to this webpage and clicking on the "City Council Roster" link. Next council meeting will be held May 16 at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St.

 

 


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Council meeting tonight will not be boring

The council meeting tonight is so packed with stuff that people care about, you might actually want to make an appearance.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 8:39 PM

The council meeting tonight is so packed with stuff that people care about, you might actually want to make an appearance. If not, at least check the Source’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

We’re going to live tweet the meeting!

The most interesting things they’ll talk about tonight:

  • Holding off on approving extra-strength charges for wastewater. Brewers in the area had felt targeted by the charges, which could mean new fees costing thousands of dollars a month for some breweries. On the other hand, the city’s current wastewater charge system targets some breweries, like Deschutes, and not others. The new plan fee structure would level the playing field, at least among breweries.
  • Whether the city should let some new businesses defer paying start-up fees to the city, giving them a chance to get established first. The change might entice more small businesses to Bend boosting the economy and in the long run, tax revenue.
  • Approval of a $19 million contract with the company that will manage construction of the new Bridge Creek pipeline. This may be quite exciting as the council contends with people who are hopping mad about the project. The city has not yet obtained a number of permits for the project. The city can put a clause in the contract explaining that if permits are denied the contract is null, but opponents to the project said it looks like the city is trying to paint itself into a fiscal corner—forcing the project to go forward at all costs.
  • Approval of a big city water management plan that will include another rubber stamp of the $70 million Bridge Creek water project. This also promises to be exciting because of the reasons mentioned above. City officials say approving the plan is less a referendum on the project and more just a matter of procedure.

I know it all sounds wonky, but really it’s a good time. Work session starts at 5 p.m., meeting is at 7 p.m. Both are downtown at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St.

 


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