News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City of Sisters COVID-19 Situation Report - 6/3/20

The City has extended its emergency declaration until June 24, by way of administrative order. The emergency declaration enables the City to adopt temporary policies swiftly and be eligible for potential reimbursement of COVID-19-related expenses.

Administrative orders have been used to implement several temporary policies and have that power vested through the emergency declaration. The City is working on items within its control to end the emergency declaration status as soon as possible. In order to do that, all temporary policies that are desired to extend beyond the emergency declaration must be prepared and adopted by resolution of the City Council. Currently, staff is monitoring the situation and will be preparing draft resolutions for the June 24 City Council meeting.

The City is involved in the discussion at the state level regarding funding from the first stimulus package (CARES Act). There was $1.6 billion distributed to the state of Oregon. Given population thresholds, only Multnomah and Washington counties and the city of Portland received direct funding. The rest is to be allocated by the state for the other 34 of 36 counties and 240 of 241 cities in Oregon.

There is hope that clarity on this topic will emerge in the coming weeks, and include direct use of funds for economic recovery. If so, it is important to ensure that the City of Sisters maintains its eligibility and can access those funds to further support our community. Working closely with the League of Oregon Cities (LOC), we have been able to stay connected to the conversations in Salem and lobby to be able to access those additional funds.

Last Friday, the City submitted its first COVID-19-related reimbursement to the state. We will continue to stay engaged with that evolving situation in hopes of accessing additional funding. In the meantime, regional partners like the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) have been instrumental in securing some funds for supporting our community economic recovery, and we thank them for that work.

Overall, the City has been exploring and implementing a multi-faceted approach to balancing safety and prosperity, and will be busy in June continuing in that role.


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