News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City snapshot - funds boost investment

•?Sisters City Council received good news from City Finance Manager Joe O’Neill at last week’s meeting. The City received $308,677.15 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the first of two tranches or installments. The second, equal amount will be awarded in a year, bringing the total awarded to $617,000.

One of the eligible uses for these funds is for investment in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. The City will use part of the $308,000 to cover the overage on the contract for the Locust Street sewer line relocation. The other part is scheduled to go toward the installation of solar panels on the public works headquarters building to help power the sewage treatment plant more economically.

•?Sisters Habitat for Humanity received a $50,000 affordable housing grant from the City to be evenly dispersed among the development of nine lots in the Village Meadows South development. According to Community Development Director Scott Woodford, Habitat met all the requirements for the grant. They do need to update their exhibits for the property to reflect the increase from six to 10 lots total (one is already built on). Another stipulation for the grant is to formally record the plat. City staff all agreed that no further requests will be granted for this particular development.

•?The Locust Street sewer line relocation project is now underway, with surveying being conducted. The contractors will begin their work after Labor Day, with the project wrapping up by the end of September. The process will begin with fish salvage in Whychus Creek near the Locust Street bridge. Then the creek will be diverted, and excavation will begin in the streambed. The new sewer line will be installed under the creek bed on the downstream side and the current line that is attached to the bridge on the upstream side will be decommissioned. The bike lane on the west side of Locust will be closed for the month of September as work progresses.

Public Works Director Paul Bertagna indicated this is a very technical project and will probably garner much public interest. The upstream line has been a longtime concern with the possibility for damage to the exposed pipe from debris coming down the creek during high water times.

•?City Recorder Kerry Prosser announced that 734 responses have been received so far for the destination tourism survey that is currently underway, being completed by tourists visiting Sisters. She hopes to have 1,250 responses by the time the survey activity is completed. The information gathered will help inform decisions made regarding possible tourist attractions, activities, and facilities.

• A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 8 before the City Council on an amendment to update the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which has been under review for the past year. The plan has had public input by two committees, a number of online surveys, tabling events around town, and presentations to all of the City committees, boards, and commissions. The public is invited to make comments during next week’s hearing, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall.


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