Summary of April 2 board of directors meeting

April 3, 2024

The BPRD board of directors selected one applicant for the vacant board position at the April 2 meeting. A video recording of the meeting is available.

Board vacancy appointment

The board of directors discussed the 10 applications received for a vacant board position and selected Cary Schneider to fulfill the duties for one vacant board position. Schneider is a business owner who is approaching 15 years of volunteer board member experience for several non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Last month, Zavier Borja resigned from the board due to frequent travel and job-related responsibilities and a desire to step back and allow another person to represent the public on the BPRD board of directors.

The appointed board member will complete the terms of service that end on June 30, 2025 (with the seat on the election ballot in May 2025). He will be sworn in at the next board meeting on April 16.

Schneider currently serves on the district’s budget committee; therefore, a process will begin immediately to fill the vacancy on the budget committee. Applications for the vacant budget committee position are being accepted until noon on Friday, April 12. Application requirements and details are at:

Needs-based assistance report and plan

The Needs-Based Assistance Program, including the Recreation Scholarship Program, is the primary way BPRD facilitates access and participation in recreation programs for those with limited financial resources. Annually, Matt Mercer, recreation services director, updates the board of directors about the program and the plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The district has experienced rapid growth in use of scholarship funds over the past three years with scholarship use this year triple pre-pandemic levels. During this same period, poverty rates, the number of households qualifying for food assistance programs, and other low-income indicators have decreased in Bend. This demonstrates the success of the district’s outreach efforts which have increasingly targeted low-income residents.

Mercer proposed that scholarship use be capped at $725,000 for fiscal year 2024-25. The general fund portion is $500,000 (69%) with the remainder coming from non-tax resources including: proceeds for cell tower leases, sponsorships, profits from food and beverage operations, grants and donations from the Bend Park & Recreation Foundation.

Expansion at Discovery Park

For the last several years, the district has been acquiring lands adjacent to Discovery Park to expand the park area and facilitate development of the Manzanita Trail, a planned trail between Discovery Park and Shevlin Park. Pahlisch Homes is currently developing a residential neighborhood, the Collier subdivision, adjacent to Discovery Park, and agreed to grant the district 3.44 acres of natural area in accordance with land use approval for the subdivision.

Central Oregon SportsPlex

In a work session presentation, Derek Berry from the Central Oregon SportsPlex Alliance shared information about the endeavor in early stages of planning. The Alliance envisions building a multi-sport, multi-phase facility on public owned land. The facility would include outdoor sports fields for a variety of uses, indoor multiuse fields, training and ice facilities, and potentially other sporting venues, a hotel and RV park.

The Alliance is in the early stages of identifying the need and financial impact that a large complex could bring to Central Oregon. Critical details such as ownership, funding strategies, phasing plans, operations, and which facilities might be built have yet to be determined. It is expected that a feasibility study and development strategy will help answer some of these questions. Once the Alliance secures support from other entities, BPRD can determine what level of support makes sense for the district to contribute, if any.

The next board meeting is April 16.