City of Bend adjusts budget to prioritize housing, maintaining service levels

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The Bend City Council Wednesday supported a staff recommendation to readjust the city budget by $13.1 million to focus on supporting housing and meeting service needs for the community.

The budget adjustments support the 2021-2023 City Council Goals and include $6 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, with the remainder coming from state funding and other sources.

Councilors are expected to adopt the recommended budget adjustments at its August 18 meeting.

“These proposed budget adjustments support our pandemic recovery efforts and reflect growing needs in our community,” said City Manager Eric King. “They will provide additional critical resources to help respond to some of Bend’s most pressing issues.”

To support the council’s housing goal, $7.5 million is proposed for a navigation center for unhoused community members, renovations and other costs related to Project Turnkey, and additional funding for affordable housing.

City of Bend gets $3M Project Turnkey grant for homeless shelter conversion

Funding is also recommended for establishing a managed camp for those who are unhoused.

The city also plans to use some of the budget to add staff to support housing production and programs.

Another $4.2 million is proposed to help meet service demands by adding staffing to support record-setting building permit activity, equity in community engagement, and administration services.

ARPA funding is recommended to fund some staff positions that were vacant and eliminated during 2020 COVID-19 budget reductions.

Additional recommendations include $1.2 million to support pandemic recovery efforts such as utility assistance, workforce development, childcare, non-profit community assistance and Downtown planning. There is also $200,000 allocated for transportation maintenance and other transportation-related projects.

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