News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City snapshot — cops, comp plan

•At their August 11 meeting, City Council voted to approve the Law Enforcement Strategic Plan for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office in the City of Sisters. City Manager Cory Misley worked with Lt. Chad Davis and Capt. Paul Garrison to formulate the plan, which centers around three main goals – community engagement, crime prevention, and relationships with Sisters Country partner agencies. The agreement will be in force through June 30, 2025. The annual total fixed contract amount is $661,200 with personnel costs for three full-time-equivalent deputies and one lieutenant at two-thirds time accounting for $504,150 of the contract amount.

•The City of Sisters is slated to receive $566,000 through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, which allocated $1.9 trillion to COVID-19 relief and economic recovery. Cities in Oregon will directly receive more than $680 million.

The funds will be provided over two distributions, the first half coming within the next few weeks. The second half will be available one year later. Funds will be available for use through December 31, 2024.

The first round of funding will be used in the allowed category of investment in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. City staff have identified several potential options for immediate use of the first round of funds on existing prioritized projects. The relocation of the Locust Street sewer line at Whychus Creek has a bid overage budget amount of $115,000. The photovoltaic systems (PV) to be installed at the public works headquarters will consist of solar panels on the roof to supplement electrical power for the public works building, water, and sewer systems. The budgeted amount for this project is $125,000.

•Following a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan amendment to update the Sisters Comprehensive Plan, members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the City Council acceptance of the amendments.

After staff reports from Community Development Director Scott Woodford, Principal Planner Nicole Mardell, and Assistant Planner Emme Shoup, as well as consultant Matt Hastie, the public was invited to make comments against, in support of, and neutral regarding the proposed amendments.

There were five people who testified.

One was Joe Angel, a Sisters property owner who lives in Portland and formerly served on the Portland Planning Commission.

Another, Peter Finley Frye of Corbett, who has a Ph.D. in urban planning, thought the Comprehensive Plan is well done but wondered why there isn’t something more about the “flavor” of Sisters, how Sisters relates to its environment, and what makes it unique.


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