City of Sisters bulletin
Last updated 5/18/2021 at Noon
The City of Sisters proposed fiscal year (FY) 2021/22 budget was discussed at the May 17-18 budget committee meetings. The approved budget will be considered for adoption by City Council on June 9, through a public hearing and take effect July 1. The City welcomes all questions and feedback. The full document containing the proposed budget can be found online at www.ci.sisters.or.us. The budget message outlines the budget document, priorities, and significant changes – below are some brief excerpts from the budget message:
We anticipated that Sisters — given its resiliency, desirability, and ingenuity – would be well positioned to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as any small, rural community could, and largely that has been the case. Due to economic uncertainty on the horizon, the budget last year took the middle road between being overly ambitious or conservative. The FY 2020/21 projections have been exceeded, and various funds are being supported strongly by construction and development, among other resources.
The City Council established a robust set of goals in March for FY 2021/22 organized into six categories:
Livability and Growth
Projects aim to ensure there are adequate supplies of buildable land within the City and preserve the historic character, small-town feel of the community.
Wildfire Mitigation and Community Resiliency
Work across partnerships to ensure Sisters is as prepared for wildfire and other natural disasters. Invest in hardening City infrastructure while exploring innovative ways to support building retrofits and defensible spaces.
Build on past successes to further Sisters as a tourist destination and attract traded-sector businesses for a diverse, sustainable economy that supports the community’s creative culture while spurring investment and adding living-wage jobs.
Strategies aim to invest in water, wastewater, streets, and parks as the foundation of our community. Address traffic congestion and safety, acquire property for new multimodal and park amenities, and expand water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure quality services.
Initiatives support a fiscally responsible, transparent, and responsive local government organization for the community both now and strategically into the future. Further community conversations and engagement on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Honor and strive to play a proactive role in maintaining our spectacular natural environment. Invest in energy-efficiency measures for City operations and capital projects in the community for residents and visitors alike.
The proposed FY 2021/22 budget makes significant, strategic investments in council goals and community priorities while balancing essential services.
Sisters has long been a desirable destination and has become even more so with the shift in remote working with little-to-no signs of demand slowing down.
Fortunately, the City did an excellent job last decade, keeping up with demand for services and not falling behind on essential infrastructure.
We have a diverse array of resources and have been diligent in accumulating thoughtful reserves for the respective services.
As growth continues and the Sisters Country Vision encourages us to aim higher, we must continue to evaluate every tool in the toolbox and leverage those through partnerships.
The future of Sisters is ours to shape together. Our diversity of opinions and backgrounds strengthens the community dialogue in Sisters while we all value where we live, work, and play. We must continue to channel that in a productive, problem-solving fashion. We are fortunate to call Sisters home and must continue to be smart stewards while maintaining a welcoming, vibrant atmosphere. I am hopeful that this budget moves us further along the path of the council goals and community priorities to sustain and elevate Sisters as a truly special place.