Summary of May 3 Board of Directors meeting

May 5, 2022

The BPRD Board of Directors meeting on May 3 included reflections on a recent community tragedy as well as regularly scheduled business. A recording of the meeting is available.

Board chair Ari Méndez began the meeting with a statement about the recent tragic accident at the Bend Whitewater Park that resulted in loss of a life. “I want to acknowledge the unimaginable pain of losing a child, and my thoughts and heart is with the family and friends as they grieve,” said Méndez.

Evaluations of the surf way system are underway  and follow-up information will be shared with the board and the public in the coming days and weeks.

Following expressions of condolences, the board then turned attention to business action on the agenda. The board adopted revised System Development Charges (SDCs), which make it possible to build new parks or trails as populations grow. The updated SDC Fee Schedule, including both average and tiered fees, provides for a 9.82% inflationary adjustment determined with the cost indices included in the 2019 adopted SDC Methodology. This year the indices call for a total fee adjustment increase due to the combined effect of:

  • an increase in Bend land values (18.06%) combined with
  • an increase in the Engineers News Record (ENR) 20-city construction cost index (7.36%)

In other action, staff recommended and the board authorized the Executive Director to negotiate and execute Amendments to the Lease Agreement and Ground Lease with the Bend Elks Baseball Club to permit construction of artificial turf infield improvements. The turf project at Vince Genna Stadium will result in:

  • estimated 65% reduction in daily water usage during the warmer months
  • expanded ability to host games, practices and camps for baseball and softball
  • an extension of the season to February through November
  • increased capacity of the field for more frequent use, which is an underserved need in Central Oregon

In the work session, a survey consultant with the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, a division of CPS HR Consulting shared results of a recent employee engagement survey. The survey responses are anonymous and handled solely by the contracting agency. Bob Lavigna presented survey results to the board and discuss outcomes and benchmark comparisons to other agencies. The survey was conducted from Jan. 18 to Feb. 11. BPRD employee’s response rate was 62%. Overall, this is a high rate of participation, with 84% response from full-time employees and 52% participation from part-time. The survey allows for benchmarking with other agencies and some were district created questions.

The board encouraged looking into more depth on responses to safety related questions, and asked about under represented groups to be comfortable and supported in the organization. The district and other public agencies are working on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts and there may be opportunities for further collaboration.

Staff also presented about the sustainability efforts. Starting in 2010, BPRD initiated an environmental sustainability program to reduce environmental impacts associated with operations and development of new properties.

In 2017, the district took the opportunity to further advance energy conservation initiatives by joining the Energy Trust of Oregon’s (ETO) “Strategic Energy Management Program” (SEM).  In addition to BPRD, other local public and private entities make up the Central Oregon cohort. The cohort regularly meets through calls and workshops to share ideas and challenges in an effort to solve problems together. Since 2017, 1.5 kWh and 55,000 therms have been saved in four facilities in the program.

In 2020, in response to the district’s Environmental Sustainability Policy, the Sustainability Committee created the Sustainability Report and Plan. The plan sets goals and priorities to accomplish the district policy, and aligns with the city of Bend’s Community Climate Action Plan.

The district recently subscribed to the Oregon Community Solar Program, which creates central solar projects that put renewable energy into the grid. The subscription will offset approximately 52% of the district’s total annual energy use and contributes to the city’s goal of having a 100% renewable energy supply. Combined with our existing Blue Sky subscription (through Pacific Power), the district will offset approximately 65-70% of our total energy use with renewable energy.

The board will meet for the annual budget meetings on May 17 and May 19. May 20 is tentative if needed.