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Dec. 15 Board of Directors meeting summary

December 17, 2020

At the Dec. 15 Board of Directors meeting, the board discussed the district’s role in the community wide affordable housing solutions and the impacts of the pandemic on the district’s finances. They also received applications for two open positions on the budget committee. A meeting recording is available here.

Affordable housing

Staff brought information to the board over the past few meetings about the district’s park system development charge (SDC) program. These discussions were prompted by a request by the city of Bend that the district lift the 400-unit limit on the district’s adopted SDC waiver program for deed restricted affordable housing projects. Nearly half-way through the four-year timeline, 380 waivers have been granted for a total of $2.3 million in charges not collected by the park district.

The board discussed cost projections of possible additional waivers and how reductions of levels of service would be affected including possible delay of expansion projects planned in existing parks. After robust discussion, the board directed staff to prepare a revised resolution for consideration. It was also proposed to convene a work group soon in partnership with the City of Bend staff and elected officials to have broader conversations about the timeframe beyond the current four-year pilot program.

District financial situation

Matt Mercer, recreation services director, provided the board with a summary of the impacts of the pandemic on the recreation budget to date (from March-December 2020) and projections of what the impacts may be for the remainder of the fiscal year (January -June 2021).

At the mid-year point, Mercer estimates a 50% reduction in projected revenue for the current fiscal year. Expenses have been reduced as best as possible in alignment and resources are being used to provide reduced capacity service to patrons and activities that are permitted to occur amidst state guidelines and restrictions.

The overall financial position is stable, according to Lindsey Lombard, administrative services director. The district has planned and operated financially for both the short-term and the long-term. Decisions during the pandemic were made to maintain fiscal health today so the damage from COVID doesn’t last as long as it could.

“We continue to be concerned about the longer-term effects of the pandemic on the economy, our revenues and on our ability to provide services into the future, and we must therefore plan for having a financial cushion into the upcoming fiscal years also,” said Lombard.

Budget committee openings

There were six applications submitted for two open positions on the budget committee. The district’s budget committee consists of five members that are appointed by the board of directors. Each board member will read, review and rate the candidates’ application materials. Staff will summarize the data and will provide to the board, at the next board meeting, the names of the candidates who received the two highest combined ratings. The board will consider those candidates for appointment.

The next board meeting is Jan. 5.