Bend Park & Recreation Measure Deserves a YES Vote

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Measure 9-96 asks Bend voters to approve a $29 million bond consisting of community-prioritized projects that will have a positive impact on our community for generations to come. Following years of public input, surveys, web input and consideration, the park district board of directors identified a roster of projects highly desired by our community, yet beyond the means of the district to provide.

How much will it cost you? For property assessed at $200,000 the bond would cost about $4 per month or $48 per year to fund all proposed projects.

The package of projects includes the expansion of near-by trails and your access to them, keeping our kids, families and visitors safe on the Deschutes River, expanding year-round recreation with a covered, open-air recreation facility including wintertime ice skating for kids, families and visitors, preserving our natural beauty for future generations, protecting river-water quality and supporting our community’s economic growth and vitality now and well into the future.

One of the single most important elements of Measure 9-86 is finally creating a safe passage for boaters, floaters and tubers at the Colorado Bridge. The Colorado Dam, originally built to support timber mills, was not designed to accommodate today’s river recreation. Safe water passage through the dam will enhance boater, floater and tuber experiences and diminish hazards. It will improve fish passage and habitat as well as create wetlands to enhance water quality and provide wildlife habitat. (The whitewater play area in this park will be funded separately though a community partnership with Bend Paddle Trail Alliance.)

A combination of land purchases and trail development projects will fulfill the long-term vision for a fully connected Deschutes River Trail from Tumalo State Park to Sunriver. The bond will provide public access to the newly acquired Gopher Gulch Park for fishing, boating, walking, running and nature watching. It also includes the purchase of the adjacent river canyon parcel called Deschutes River Park Land.

Important to the eastside of Bend the bond will fund the purchase of two parcels including a 4-acre parcel at the corner of 15th Street and Reed Market Road to allow for future expansion of the Bend Senior Center as well as another site for a community park.

Lauded as an entrepreneurial city on numerous websites and business magazines, Bend can boast that ‘your vacation is our life’ and one of the primary reasons that emerging companies with creative founders will choose to launch their venture here.

As Doug La Placa of Visit Bend notes in his endorsement of the Park District bond measure: smart cities invest in their economic strengths. While we are fortunate in Bend to have a continually diversifying economy, the foundation of our economy is, and will likely continue to be, the extraordinary lifestyle offered here.

LaPlaca offers that our clean air, beautiful mountains and sunny skies, to great parks, flowing rivers and abundant trails – Bend’s extraordinary lifestyle is what separates our city from ‘Any Town U.S.A.’ It’s also the leading catalyst for long-term investment into our community.

Connecting our economic potential to our incredible lifestyle fulfilled with amenable parks and recreation attributes was recently touted by Bruce Schoenfeld in Small Business Trends “these days, Bend’s population is nudging 85,000. There are still rolling hills and mountain vistas, but they share space with a business community that might be the most eclectic – and fastest-growing – of any similarly sized city in America.

He quotes Scot Bayless of Irvine, California-based gaming company FireForge, which recently expanded to a Bend office. “Bend is humming with new ideas, businesses and capital. You can smell it in the air. The diversity of people bringing businesses here is astounding. A community of big brains, here because they want to be.”

In another recently published online article by Nathan Borchelt, titled I Hate Bend, the author proclaimed, “No place should have it this good.” Along with raving about our great beer he points out our numerous parks, miles of recreational trails, numerous golf courses, paddleboarding, whitewater rafting and fly-fishing on the Deschutes and 3,600 skiable acres at Mount Bachelor. And miles of narrow dirt mountain bike trails, which double as snowshoeing and Nordic skiing trails in the winter.

The enticement of entrepreneurs to the community is our economic future and vitality. This is a noteworth time to approve this ballot measure as land prices are low giving the public more for their money and land owners are fortunately ready to sell to the Park District. Acquiring land ahead of development provides the public access and ownership forever while partnering with Bend Paddle Trail Alliance, Bend Ice, Rush Soccer and OSU Cascades will leverage investments.

We urge you to invest in our future and vote yes on this very important measure.pha

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