News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City snapshot — wetlands, a mural, and a budget

• Public Works Director Paul Bertagna and Community Development Planning Technician Carol Jenkins both recently celebrated 20 years as City employees.

• At the May 20, 5:30 p.m. Planning Commission public hearing, commissioners will conduct a Type III review of a Master Plan modification and replat to modify the Village Meadows Master Plan submitted by Habitat for Humanity, and replat six lots in the Village Meadows subdivision (Lots 3-8) into 10 lots to accommodate attached single-family houses. The meeting will be held over Zoom at Agenda and packet of materials are available on the City website

• City Council will be voting at their May 26 meeting whether to approve a 2 percent increase in the Republic Services (garbage) franchise fee.

• Made in Sisters is being presented by the Sisters Country Economic Development (SCED) committee on May 21. FivePine is hosting and, rather than physically visiting featured businesses, they will be highlighted on video. For information, contact Caprielle Foote-Lewis at 541-977-5683.

• The agreement regarding the installation of an historical mural on the Fir Street side of the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Shop, 211 E. Cascade Ave., has been signed and work should begin this week. Minnesota artist and muralist Steve DeLaitsch, whose work is being funded by an anonymous local resident who has commissioned other murals by him in the past, has traveled around the country and in China and Italy to sketch and paint. He has created a number of murals in the U.S.

• The Public Works Advisory Board, at their Tuesday, May 11 meeting, reviewed the Lazy Z Ranch Master Plan conceptual design alternatives by Anderson Perry & Associates. Two possible design options were presented for distribution of effluent from the Sisters wastewater treatment plant. The designs contain elements like wetland areas that will attract birds and wildlife, agricultural areas utilizing pivot irrigation, and forested ponds and streams with walking paths.

An example of another wetlands area designed by Anderson Perry is located in Prineville. The area under consideration in Sisters is part of 231 acres the City purchased from the Lazy Z, on the south side of Highway 20, to expand its treatment facilities and maintain an open-view corridor. The board voted to have staff continue investigating both options to determine actual costs before a decision is made.

• The City Budget Committee met on May 17-18 to review the proposed City budget for FY 2021-22, which begins July 1. Once the budget is approved by the City Council, the City will be advertising for an assistant planner and hopes to have them onboard by midsummer.

• The first set of camp hosts for the Creekside Campground didn’t work out and they have been replaced. The new camp hosts will be available Thursday-Monday, with City staff handling campground matters on Tuesday and Wednesday.

• Work on the Comprehensive Plan update is progressing. This month, both the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Stakeholders Advisory Committee will review the updated document in its entirety before a livestream public open house on June 3 for the community. From June 4-8, citizens can access information online with an online survey for people to take. There will also be in-person engagement around town to give citizens more opportunities to voice their opinions and ask questions. Watch for announcements about a booth at Sisters Farmers Market on June 13, a table at the post office, staff at Village Green Park on a weekend morning, and possibly at the Bi-Mart parking lot.

During August and September, the Planning Commission will hold at least one work session to review the update before it goes to the City Council for final adoption, when it is then sent to the State. According to Scott Woodford, community development director, the Comprehensive Plan is open to change at any time until it is finally adopted.

• Paul Bertagna announced that the hanging baskets for downtown light posts will be in place before Memorial Day.

• June 7 the public is invited to a countywide virtual town hall to hear about and ask questions regarding county plans for natural hazard mitigation. Each city within Deschutes County has their own specific addendum to the County plan. There will be information online on the Deschutes County website as well as a survey in both English and Spanish.

• With some modification to the utility layout on the 14-lot light industrial park going in on West Barclay Drive and North Pine Street, not as many trees will have to be removed in the 10-foot easement. By meandering the multi-use path, four old-growth ponderosas were saved. The tree removal is complete, and infrastructure installation should be started in the next few weeks.

• Plans are being made to hire for a new position with the City in October. The title is parks planning and public engagement coordinator. The job will entail serving as the point person for the Parks Advisory Board, working with everyone on long-range parks planning and public engagement by collaborating with the community, Sisters Park & Recreation District, the Chamber of Commerce, and other City partners. The person will also oversee all public event permitting.


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