Last updated 3/22/2022 at Noon
- A preferred candidate has been identified for the new City position of Compliance Officer and an offer for employment extended. If the offer is accepted, the person should be on the job by April.
- The second City Council meeting in March will be held on Wednesday, March 30 with a workshop at 5:30 p.m. and the Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Council meetings are normally the second and fourth Wednesday but because the fourth Wednesday in March is during spring vacation, the meeting was moved a week later to the fifth Wednesday. Check the City website to see if the meeting will be available on Zoom.
- County Administrator Nick Lelack presented to the March 9 joint meeting of Sisters City Council and the Deschutes County Board of County Commissioners, the Deschutes County and City of Bend five-year strategic plan to address houselessness, one of eight pilot projects in the state.
The vision for the plan states, “In 2032, housing instability in all forms is rare, brief, and non-recurring in Deschutes County.”
Elected officials will work with a broad base of service providers, people with lived experience, businesses, school districts, and other partners to ensure that the region’s houseless service system is adaptive to challenges and opportunities and is structured to achieve the 10-year vision. There will be a Collaborative Office and an Advisory Group made up of representatives from key sectors and partners. More information is available on the website: http://www.HouselessnessinDeschutes.org, which includes basic facts, narratives, and an outline of the strategic plan.
- Deschutes County received a $38.4 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help support responses to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the County has received $19 million of the $38.4 million grant. $36.7 million has been obligated to date, leaving $1.7 million uncommitted. Almost all contracts with chosen applicants have been issued, most have been fully executed. Through January 2022, $2.3 million has been spent. Affordable housing ($7.8M), childcare ($7.675M), and homelessness ($6.389M) are the three areas receiving the largest funding amounts and they each include projects benefitting Sisters.
- The County Commissioners and the Council discussed the fact that the County has no parks department. Commissioner Phil Chang would like to change that to promote destination stewardship. He mentioned the County has 500 acres northwest of Bend that would make a good destination recreation area.
- City Manager Cory Misley explained the City’s plan for a destination management organization (DMO) to the joint meeting on March 9. He said the work of the DMO would include tourism promotion, development of the built environment (facilities, etc.) and stewardship to actively manage the area’s sustainability. Balancing of funding, interests of visitors, and needs of the residents are the goals.
- In the February 23, 2022 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Sisters was described as one of five “lesser-known mountain hubs, which serve as gateways to other areas that are just as gorgeous” and a way to escape the crowds of places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Aspen, Colorado. The other four towns were Packwood, Washington; Dubois, Wyoming; Del Norte, Colorado; and Carrabasset Valley, Maine.
- One of Council’s goals for FY 2022/23 is to address Wildfire Mitigation and Community Resiliency. A consultant is currently surveying the physical structures, critical infrastructure, and property in the city and will be preparing a report for Council with suggested mitigation.
This week a joint meeting of the City Council, the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District, and all relevant partners like Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Central Electric Cooperative, and others was held to share information and identify ways to collaborate to improve public awareness and safety compliance with defensible space requirements and Senate Bill 762. They also addressed identifying funding sources for wildfire mitigation and natural disaster preparedness. A recording of the meeting can be found on the City website under “Agendas and Meetings.”