News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City snapshot

•?Sisters City Council will hold their annual goal-setting meeting on Thursday, February 13, starting at 3:30 p.m. Staff has been working on department work plan objectives and year-to-date financials to provide an update to Council. This will be a thorough review of progress through this fiscal year and planning for next fiscal year. After that meeting, alignment of Council goals and department work plan objectives will come together in a proposed budget document presented to the City Budget Committee in May.

•?The Department of Land Conservation and Development awarded a technical assistance grant to the City for $35,000 (50 percent match from City) to update the Comprehensive Plan Goals 9 (Economic Development) and Goal 14 (Housing).

•?A public hearing will be held at the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, February 20 at 5:30 p.m. for a land-use application for the Three Winds property Master Plan currently under review. The plan calls for 50 multi-family apartment units and 26,800 square feet of speculative commercial space. The property is located behind and beside Bi-Mart.

•?The City and the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce are currently undertaking negotiations regarding the contract governing the Chamber’s occupation of their City-owned headquarters, the duties of the Chamber in their role as the Visitor’s Bureau and the Destination Marketing Organization for the City, and the amount the City gives to the Chamber from transient room taxes.

The contract is up for review this year.

According to state law, the Chamber must receive at least $185,000 (based on the mandated percentage) and they currently get $250,000 a year. The Chamber is requesting an increase of another $250,000 a year for marketing and promotions for Sisters Country. Chamber Executive Director Judy Trego gave a presentation to the Council at their January 22 meeting. The City and Chamber will be holding negotiations.

•?The Locust/Highway 20 roundabout project kick-off meeting between the City and ODOT occurred in early January. At this stage, it is all project development and design. The area will be surveyed over the next couple of months. The City anticipates the project development and design to take approximately nine to12 months.

•?The North Locust Street multi-use path bid process closed on January 14. There were five bids received. A small city allotment grant will cover the cost of the path. The project is expected to begin as soon as weather permits.

•?The Vision Implementation Team for the Sisters Country Vision has met four times to discuss progress updates and next steps (opportunities for partner collaboration and volunteers, public communications strategies, and future facilitation). The VIT will be publishing monthly articles in The Nugget to keep residents informed about progress and opportunities. Information is available at where it is possible to leave a message under the contact tab.

•?The City Park Advisory Committee has narrowed the options for the new Village Green play structure to two designs from the same company. Input on the two options will be solicited from children through the schools and SPRD. The preferred design will come before the City Council for approval in March. Hopefully, the project will be completed prior to the summer events season. Total cost for the project is $194,000, with $70,000 being paid by the City and the remainder through a grant from the state.

•?The City launched a Facebook page in early January. The page will be used to keep the community informed on what is happening in the City. Like and follow the page at City of Sisters Facebook.

•?Creekside Campground reservations for the upcoming season opened online January 2. The Sisters Folk Festival weekend reservations filled in minutes. Other event weekends such as Sisters Rodeo and Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show are almost filled. Over 1,430 nights have been reserved.

•?Dana Bratton has been selected as a new member of the City’s Parks Advisory Board.

•?In news from the City Finance Department, the accounting software has been updated for easier user interface. There is $140,000 in interest in the water SDC fund. Waterline upgrades for Oak and Fir streets will be undertaken this coming spring.

•?Council has approved a professional service agreement with Anderson Perry and GSI for a new city well (#4). The design work will cost $63,000. The drilling for the well will take four to six weeks using a rotary air bit, to take place in the fall of 2020 with construction to follow in spring 2021.The location of the well is near the east end of the Creekside Campground in front of the Fourth Sisters Condo. The entire project will cost between $860,000 and $1.2 million.


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