The Bend City Council will hold its third of three roundtables on the topic of a transportation fee with community partners from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, October 11 at the Municipal Court building, 555 NE 15th Street. Interested community members are invited to livestream the meeting through YouTube or preregister to watch on Zoom here.
Roundtables are a new engagement opportunity the City Council has created to discuss matters of community interest.
Transportation fees are a common funding tool in Oregon. In the past, the City has relied on revenues from the State gas tax and a portion of property taxes to maintain the City’s transportation system, but these funding sources are limited and declining. The City of Bend’s transportation network is growing, and costs are increasing. New funding sources are needed to maintain enhanced levels of service that the community expects.
A transportation fee is a recurring fee on utility bills, because everyone relies on the transportation system (mail delivery, garbage hauling services, food delivery, bus routes, etc.). A well-maintained transportation system allows people and goods and services to move safely and efficiently.
The October roundtable discussion will focus on the City’s transportation equity policies and approaches, methods for accountability, and preferred options for the City’s long-term transportation funding strategy.
Roundtable participation is by invitation and the meeting does not include public comment. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or online to listen to the roundtable discussion. Public feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and members of the public can also attend upcoming neighborhood meetings and City Council meetings to provide further input.
Representatives from the following groups have been invited to the roundtable: Bend Bikes, Bend Chamber, Bend Economic Development Advisory Board, Bend La Pine Schools, Bend Park & Recreation District, Cascade East Transit, Commute Options, Council on Aging, Environment and Climate Committee, Former City Transportation Advisory Committee, Human Rights and Equity Commission, Latino Community Association, Neighborhood Associations, NeighborImpact, Transportation Bond Oversight Committee.
The public engagement process will help City staff and Council determine uses of revenue, ways to lessen the impact of this new fee on customers facing financial hardship, and how to balance the use of other funding tools for future transportation system needs. A transportation fee could start appearing on utility bills sometime in 2024.
For information: bendoregon.gov/transportation-