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Bond Measure No 9-86

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

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 will 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 can only be used for capital expenses (land acquisition, park and trail development, etc.) and cannot be used for personnel or operations.
 
Due to the nature of most of the projects, much of the on-the-ground features and amenities will not be seen until approximately 2015.
 
November 6 – July 2013: Overall Update
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: Completed.
  2. Schedule land acquisitions; initiate discussions and negotiations with land owners. Status: Underway
  3. Define, schedule and coordinate project management. Status: Underway
  4. Determine best ways to communicate bond project status with community. Status: Underway
  5. Develop Memorandums of Understanding with partnering organizations to define expectations, roles and responsibilities. Status: Underway

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: Two land acquisitions secured! The first of several land acquisitions tied to the connection of the Deschutes River Trail is under contract. On December 18th the BPRD Board of Directors authorized Don Horton, Executive Director, to enter into a contract with an owner of land adjacent to Gopher Gulch Park. A contract has been set for a future acquisition. In the meantime, the district has been given easement to begin trail development planning. On April 16th, the board authorized staff to purchase 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 land purchase will allow future expansion of the Bend Senior Center as well a second egress into Larkspur Park off 15th Street. Director Don Horton has also been in communication with other land owners regarding future land sales.

Project Management: District planners, landscape architects and executive management are in the process of defining in more detail the scope of work necessary to complete all projects, further refining budget estimates and assigning staff management for each project.

Partnership Agreements: Memorandums of Understanding are being developed with Bend FC Timbers soccer club, Bend Paddle Trail Alliance and Bend Ice to define expectations and roles and responsibilities in the development and management of projects. All three organizations have already taken steps toward their respective commitments to projects.

Community Outreach and Communication: Bend Park & Recreation will communicate regularly on the progress, challenges and successes of bond funded projects. This page on the website is one strategy. Additionally, stories will run in the district magazine, 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 incudes requirements for citizen oversight and regular audits to ensure that tax dollars are spent effectively and as promised.

To learn more, you can visit the following project pages:

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.