Bend’s mayor, Sally Russell, city manager Eric King, and city councilor Chris Piper held a virtual meeting on May 21st to inform the neighborhood associations about the City’s response to COVID-19 and its plans for reopening.
Among the items currently being implemented or receiving serious consideration are the following:
There has been some reduced access to City services as 60% of employees are working from home. Some will begin moving back to their offices and providing in-person service as safety allows. In the interim, they are trying alternative methods, such as virtual support for permits and using drones for remote inspections.
The City is expecting reduced revenue from numerous sources, including room taxes and gas taxes. All departments are being asked to propose plans to reduce expenditures by 5% and 10%. They are looking at increased efficiencies, delaying travel and training, decreasing the use of consultants, freezing vacancies, not hiring temps or seasonal employees, and delaying some projects — all while trying to have the least negative impact on services.
To support neighborhoods, the City will maintain funding for neighborhood association communications. They plan to be flexible with the requirement that neighborhood associations hold a general meeting every 18 months (keeping safety in mind). And, they plan to continue to maintain communication with the NAs using new virtual methods.
The City of Bend has extended the COVID-19 emergency orders, allowing for temporary policies related to procurement practices, facility closures, employee teleworking and public meeting protocols. It also says:
The orders were extended through Phase II of the Governor’s Reopening Oregon plan (which explains phasing). The start and end dates of Phase II have not been established by the state yet. Phase II could begin as early as June 5, if Deschutes County is able to meet state criteria for entering Phase II.
The City Manager also updated an order discouraging tourist travel and related activities in Bend through the completion of Phase I. In Deschutes County, Phase I began May 15 and could end on June 5 at the earliest. Under this order:
The NorthWest Crossing Saturday Farmers Market will be held each Saturday beginning June 6th and ending October 17th.
Like grocery stores, farmers markets are allowed as essential businesses under the Governor's emergency orders. Protocols will be in place to ensure physical distancing and avoid congregating by groups of people.
Visit www.NWXFarmersMarket.com to learn more.
The City is about to kick off a season of street preservation work all over town.
All of the streets in NorthWest Crossing east of Mt. Washington are slated to be slurry-coated this season. This is a treatment for low-volume residential streets, where a coating is spread on the surface to help seal and preserve the existing pavement. One-day street closures can typically be expected.
The City will provide more detailed information to residents as the scheduling becomes clearer.
It’s time again to clean up yards, create defensible spaces around homes, and recycle the debris at no charge at FireFree collection sites.
This year, Deschutes County will offer expanded FireFree event dates from May 9 - 24. In partnership with Brooks Resources and Bend Fire & Rescue, the Bend west side location will also be open for three weekends in May.
Residents are asked to wear masks when they drop off their yard debris and to keep an appropriate space between themselves and other vehicles.
Drop off: grass clippings, brush, plant prunings, pine needles, pine cones, weeds, trimmings and branches, stumps or trees (no larger than 12” in diameter).
Not accepted: sod, dirt, rocks, lumber, metal, trash, or plastics of any kind, including plastic bags.
Food banks are in serious need of donations as more of our neighbors are out of work due to the coronavirus emergency. There will be two opportunities this week to help out by donating food at drop off locations in Summit West:
The Skyliner Summit event is sponsored by Aperion Management Group (an HOA management firm) and their sister handyman company AMG Fix It. The NWX event is sponsored by Lisa Connors, a Realtor with Harcourts The Garner Group and 100+ Women Who Care Central Oregon.
The City has announced that the local state of emergency will be extended through May 6th.
The City’s new webpage bendoregon.gov/covid19 includes updates and information about how to access services via phone or email when public buildings are not open.
If you need help or want to lend a hand, click here.
Relevant news and financial assistance programs for businesses can be found at bendoregon.gov/bizresources.
To find out what your public lands managers want you to know about what you can still do outside to stay active, click here.
For the most recent information from the City of Bend, click here.
For the latest from the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN), click here. COEIN includes Deschutes County Health Services, St. Charles Health System, the City of Bend, Bend – La Pine Schools, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and others.
For updates from Deschutes County Health Services, click here.
Oregon Health Authority updates are available here.
The City Council voted to withdraw the May ballot measure for the transportation bond, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic impacts. Circumstances have changed dramatically since Council agreed to put the bond measure on the May ballot.
The reasons include: