▶️ Bend City Council votes to purchase land next door to Rainbow Motel

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After buying the Rainbow Motel off Franklin Avenue for $4.5 million in January, the City of Bend is looking for more land in this area. And more land purchases are expected to follow.

“And we’re going to continue to look to see where we can have opportunities to get land,” said Melanie Kebler, a Bend City Councilor.

City Councilors voted unanimously Wednesday night to buy the land next door to the Rainbow Motel where Paulson’s Floor Coverings currently resides.

“So the Rainbow Motel will continue to operate and continue serving the folks that are using it for housing right now and the Paulson Flooring is going to continue being there for another year,” Kebler said “That was part of the negotiation that they’ll continue to lease that and keep that spot for another year.”

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The $2.9 million purchase will be logged as long-term debt for the city budget.

“We work with an internal and external financing team to kind of make sure we’re timing the market best as possible and get those long term debt proceeds,” said Sharon Wojda, a Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for the City of Bend.

So taxes won’t go towards the land purchase.

“We can pay for it over a 20-30 year term kind of like you would with a house or a mortgage,” Wojda said.

As for what the land will eventually become?

“If there’s a city hall, that there could be a community park, a civic center, potentially affordable housing so more than just a city government office we want it to be a better place to come together,” Wojda said.

“So nothing much will change quickly, but it’s a big opportunity for the future,” Kebler said.

A future of a brand new city hall and the ability to expand the central area of Bend for more economic growth.

“The city is not only trying to support with all of our policies to help redevelopment there, but by being a partner and putting our money where our mouth is and saying we also want to catalyze development there,” Kebler said.

Once the land is purchased, the city will take a couple years of planning before building anything on the land.

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