The Bend City Council held the second of its community roundtables Wednesday on a proposed monthly transportation fee that would be tacked onto residents’ water and sewer bills.
The fee, which does not require a public vote because it’s not a tax, would be toward things like street sweeping and filling potholes.
This is different from the $190 million general obligation transportation bond was passed by voters in 2020. The city says those funds are in a separate pot of money, directed toward larger road construction projects such as the one on Neff Road and Purcell Boulevard.
Although the roundtables don’t offer a chance for public comment, feedback from the community has been scattered. While many say the $10-to-$15 per month is worth it, others feel the decision should go to voters.
“We’ve heard a lot from people who are just concerned about understanding what this fee is and what it’s going to pay for. So that’s a lot of what we talked about today with the roundtable. And we’re going to continue to take that message out to our neighborhoods and folks who are asking questions,” said Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler.
Kebler says she hopes the City Council will vote by early 2024 and those fees would be added toward the middle of next year.
The next roundtable is October 11.