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Sunriver officials discuss reopening plans

Also back proposal to have law enforcement pick up, deliver prescriptions

SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- “Sunriver is coming back to life,” Sunriver Service District Chairman Bill Hepburn said Thursday.

It's no longer a question of when, but rather a question of how.

During a Zoom conference Thursday, Hepburn and the entire service district board agreed it will be a slow process for the resort community, especially in regards to larger entities, like the Sunriver Resort and the Village.

Both will be opening back up in limited fashion Friday.

Sunriver Resort did not return calls for comment, so NewsChannel 21 could not confirm its plans. However, based on the conversation in Thursday's meeting, the main building will remain closed to the public.

The restaurant on site, Carson's Kitchen, will only be accepting a limited number of reservations, but its curbside pickup service will continue.

Checking in for condos at the resort will also be done curbside.

The Sage Springs Club fitness center will open next Thursday, while the tennis and pickleball courts will have a limited opening the following day. There’s no word yet on when the pool may open.

Overall, Hepburn said Sunriver will be taking a reactive approach, rather than a proactive one. Still, there was mention of a new way to help people in the community -- not just in Sunriver -- but in all of Deschutes County.

Sunriver Chief of Police Cory Darling told NewsChannel 21 Thursday that Deschutes County law enforcement agencies and St. Charles Bend are working together on a new joint program. It would allow police officers and sheriff's deputies to pick up and deliver prescriptions.

People would not have to pay extra for this program, as it would be supported by the current pool of tax revenue.

This comes at a time during which Darling said Sunriver Police have had an influx of calls during the pandemic. Those calls are mainly related to complaints about people not following state and county orders, and very few of those calls have led to a written violation.

However, some might question if law enforcement should be adding a role as a prescription delivery service to their responsibilities.

"It would be the same as if we were evacuating them, in an emergency situation, and we provided a van to transport them out of Sunriver,” Darling said. “We need to help them stay safe and well. From my standpoint, I'm all for it."

The rest of the Sunriver Service District board was all for it too. Members unanimously voiced their support for the program during Thursday’s conference.

Darling said they are working on a final draft right now. He expects it will start within a week, and will last until the state's emergency order is lifted.

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.


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