Bend City Council takes care of business

Bend City Councilors unanimously approved three pro-business decisions Wednesday night.

Councilors took action on the last step to finalize the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District for the next three years.

The Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District, which is made up of about 325 businesses, has funded the beautification and marketing of downtown for the past 10 years. The district is expected to generate about $150,000 in annual revenue based on an assessment of 18 cents per square foot of commercial space.

Impacted property owners were notified about a public hearing, but none attended. The public hearing was closed without any testimony.

Councilor Sally Russell made a motion to adopt the resolution levying assessments for the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District and to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with the Downtown Bend Business Association to administer the program and provide for the expenditure of funds. Councilor Casey Roats seconded the motion and the five councilors in attendance voted yes.

Councilors Doug Knight and Barb Campbell were not in attendance.

The first reading of an ordinance amending Bend Municipal Code to improve the administrative feasibility of the Sewer Extra Strength Charge program was unanimously approved.

“These (amendments) are intended to increase clarity and consistency with the changes that were adopted by council in December 2014,” said Bend City Senior Policy Analyst Gillian Ockner to councilors.

Council adopted a resolution in December establishing water and sewer rate structure principles to govern the way in which the city collects its water and sewer rates to meet system revenue needs on an equitable basis, according to the City of Bend’s website.

Ockner said one of the amendments was to allow the full-cost recovery period to be determined by council.

Councilors also approved the second reading of an ordinance amending portions of the Bend Development Code to add incentives for the development of affordable housing and standards for developing cottage housing.

Affordable workforce housing in Bend is scarce and councilors have been working to address the mounting challenges.

Check out Bend Chamber’s What’s Brewing? Bend’s Town Hall: Workforce Housing to learn more.


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