Summary of Oct. 4 board of directors meeting

October 5, 2022

It was a full agenda at the Oct. 4 BPRD board of directors meeting with actions taken to move forward with three park projects: Sawyer Park, Drake Park and Big Sky Park. A recording of the meeting is available.

The work session included two discussions that brought community members in attendance to share their perspectives in public comment.

BPRD staff and representatives of a community group provided an overview of the Deschutes River Trail South project that the district ceased working on in 2019. The presentation was requested by the board after they received many emails and inquiries from the public, and an organized group called Connect Bend, advocating for the project. Background information is in the agenda packet, beginning on page 5. No action was taken and the project status remains unchanged.

Also, in work session, the board received a summary of the river recreation season, including at the Bend Whitewater Park where new rules for river surfing were established in June. Staff presented findings from data collected over the summer, additional steps taken since the June 7 meeting, and plans for the future. BPRD staff collected data on more than 4,400 surf rides over 60 hours of observation and there was not a single occurrence of a leash observed. Justin Rae from the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance shared information about the loaner safety gear program and the status of planning for whitewater information sessions. The rules will remain in place.

Sawyer Park

The board approved the Sawyer Park Asset Replacement preferred concept design. Director Méndez voted against the project with discussion about opportunity costs for other priorities and parking supply. Staff recently completed two rounds of public outreach effort, including a series of public involvement activities to inform the design options and create the plan.

Proposed features include relocating the parking closer to O.B. Riley Road, expanding the parking capacity, adding two crosswalks, adding a future bus stop, improving trail connectivity both for internal circulation and as part of the city’s low stress network, improving ADA access, providing bike parking in multiple locations and habitat restoration. The board also approved a resolution to apply to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for a 2022 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to fund a portion of the project. Director Méndez voted ‘nay’ on the grant application.

Drake Park

The Drake Park Bank and Trail Improvement project is underway and staff sought and received board approval of the guaranteed maximum price to move it forward into phase two. All permits have been obtained, and work can continue this fall (pending easements) with full completion of the project anticipated by next spring. The completion of the final trail connections in Pacific Park requires execution the two remaining easements.

To address a budget shortfall, staff proposed and the board agreed to delay the start of Little Fawn Park construction by several months until the summer of 2023 (next fiscal year), and shift the allocated SDC funds to Drake Park until/unless additional funds are identified for Drake Park construction.

Big Sky Park

A project is currently underway to construct bike park elements and infrastructure improvements at Big Sky Park. During the course of construction, in a portion of the park not covered by the scope of work, a sinkhole was discovered in an existing parking lot located east of field #2. Because the current construction project includes significant paving, and the contractor is still mobilized and has equipment on site, the efficiency of amending the contract with Deschutes Construction to include the re-building of this parking lot is possible. The board agreed and authorized a change order to the existing construction contract of an additional $102,291, plus an additional 10% contingency of $10,229. Repairing the situation now is anticipated to save 20-30% in costs.

Finally, the board authorized the executive director to negotiate and execute an agreement with the city to allow for the construction of the Wilson Avenue Corridor improvements at Ponderosa Park within the next six months.

The next board meeting is Oct. 18.