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Bend Park and Rec moves ahead with bond measure


After months of debate and public input, the Bend Park and Rec Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to place a $29 million bond on the November ballot.

Park District Executive Director Don Horton told the board before the vote that the bond measure is the first such attempt at funding beyond the organization’s property tax base in the history of the park district.

The bond money would be used on a wide range of projects. A majority of the money would be spent finishing the Deschutes River Trail system. About 46 percent of the money would be used to build trail, bridges and buy land.

If passed, money also would be spent on a community rec center on the site of the former Mt. Bachelor park-and-ride lot and making the Colorado Avenue Dam spillway safe for passage for river floaters, after several tragedies and near-tragedies.

Representatives of Visit Bend, the Paddle Trail Alliance and Oregon Rush soccer club all spoke to the board in support of the measure.

Before the vote, board member Dallas Brown told his colleagues that in order to get the measure passed, it must echo what community leaders emphasized earlier in the night — how this will spur economic development in the city.

Community surveys and open houses helped craft what the proposed project list includes and doesn’t include.

After the board voted unanimously to put the measure on the ballot, a big cheer came from the audience on hand.

The average homeowner with assessed property value of $200,000 would see an increase of about $48 a year in property taxes.

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