Bond-Funded Projects

drt-river-660px.jpgBond Measure No. 9-86 Projects:

Projects:

On November 6, 2012 citizens of Bend passed a ballot measure to protect our natural beauty, and expand access and recreational opportunities in our river, along our trails and in our parks. The projects aimed to support economic growth and prosperity and go far to protect our quality of life now and for future generations.

The bond measure authorized Bend Park & Recreation District to sell $29 million in bonds to fund these projects on the community’s behalf. Bond funds could only be used for capital expenses (land acquisition, park and trail development, etc.) and could not be used for personnel or operations.
Immediately after the passage of the bond District staff began building the internal structures to support the projects, including:
  1. Prepare for and execute the sale of the bonds. Status: Complete
  2. Schedule land acquisitions; initiate discussions and negotiations with land owners. Status: Complete
  3. Define, schedule and coordinate project management. Status: Ongoing
  4. Determine best ways to communicate bond project status with community. Status: Complete
  5. Develop Memorandums of Understanding with partnering organizations to define expectations, roles and responsibilities. Status: Complete

Accomplishments and Progress to Date:

Sale of Bonds: The District sold General Obligation Bonds on Tuesday, May 14th at an interest cost better than the District anticipated during the election. Dedicated to fund new park lands, trails and recreation amenities, the $29 million dollar bond measure was expected to cost taxpayers $.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value but is now projected to come in at less than $.22 per $1,000. “We are pleased with the lower tax rate and low true interest cost of 2.99%,” states Don Horton, Bend Park and Recreation District Executive Director. “Low interest rates were a key reason the Board of Directors chose to seek a bond last November. We are fortunate to be able to provide the community with such a good investment.” The bonds received a Moody’s municipal bond rating of AA3, given to issuers that demonstrate very strong creditworthiness relative to other US municipal or tax-exempt issuers. There were ten bidders for the bond sales with Raymond James and Associates, Inc. being the lowest bidder and selected buyer. The bond sale closed in early June.

Land Acquisitions: Three land acquisitions have been secured! The District purchased 63.3 acres adjacent to Riley Ranch Nature Reserve which brings the park’s total size to 184 acres. The District also purchased a 4.5 acre parcel of land located on the corner of SE 15th and Reed Market Road, adjacent to the Bend Senior Center. This purchase will allow for the future expansion of the Bend Senior Center as well as a second egress into Larkspur Park off 15th Street. Additionally, the District purchased 37 acres for a large community park in SE Bend that could include such amenities as athletic fields, picnic areas, trails and a playground. The site of the future community park is located on SE 15th Street, south of Ferguson Road.

Project Management: District planners, landscape architects and executive management are continuing to manage the scopes, schedules and budgets for bond projects.

Partnership Agreements: Memorandums of Understanding are complete with Bend FC Timbers soccer club, Bend Paddle Trail Alliance and Bend Ice.

Community Outreach and Communication:  The District continues to communicate regularly on the progress, challenges and successes of bond funded projects. This page on the website is one strategy. Additionally, stories will continue to run in the District Playbook, signs will be posted at park and trail sites, stories will run in the District’s email newsletter, announced in the media and through presentations made throughout the year(s) to service clubs and other public forums.

Transparency & Accountability

The Bend Park and Recreation District is accountable to tax payers and patrons. The bond includes requirements for citizen oversight and regular audits to ensure that tax dollars are spent effectively and as promised.

Thank you for your interest in the bond measure projects. If you would like to provide comments, you may attend an upcoming board meeting, send a letter to 799 SW Columbia, Bend, OR 97702 or email info@bendparksandrec.org.