Bend City Mayor Sally Russell.

Mayor of Bend, Sally Russell


Everyone in Bend plays a part in keeping our community healthy and safe as Deschutes County sees an increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19.

My heart breaks for our community members directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak at a local memory care facility that was announced by Deschutes County Health Services on July 15. 

These are challenging times for the Bend community. Keeping each other safe and our businesses open means following the state guidelines in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

On July 1, Governor Brown made it a statewide requirement to wear face coverings in all indoor public places. On July 15, it became a statewide requirement to wear face coverings in outdoor public places where physical distance cannot be maintained, like busy sidewalks or crowded parking lots. Governor Brown also limited the size of indoor social get-togethers to a maximum of 10 people. 

Many members of our community have questions about the state guidelines and what they mean. The best place to learn about the state guidelines is coronavirus.oregon.gov.

As a community we must understand the urgency and necessity for each and every one of us to do our very best to minimize the spread of COVID-19. I am concerned about the health and safety of Bend. Thatís why Council voted on July 15 to take some additional steps to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. You can read more about what weíre doing in the Council Update below.

Letís all do our part to keep each other safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the three Wís:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Watch your distance
  • Wash your hands


chief krantz

Bend's new Police Chief, Michael Krantz


The City of Bend has selected Portland Police Bureau Assistant Chief Michael Krantz as Bendís next Police Chief. Krantz will serve the 115-year-old Bend Police Department in the position previously held by Chief Jim Porter, who retired after more than 29 years of service to the Bend community.

Krantz is a 27-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. While serving in Portland, he built the bureauís Office of Community Engagement to support the development of ongoing relationships and trust with the greater Portland community. Krantz also managed the development and implementation of the bureauís Racial Equity Plan, focused on addressing the root causes of inequities within the bureau and with community access to the bureau. He also served in strategic services, criminal intelligence, rapid response and training capacities.

Learn more about Bendís next Police Chief.


Great communities dont just happen by chance

Bendís Transportation System Plan is ready for adoption. After more than two years of research and public involvement, City staff, the Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee and the Transportation Steering Committee have completed a final draft of Bendís updated Transportation System Plan

The public hearing phase for the adoption of the plan began on July 13 with a Planning Commission and City Council work session, and continues through August 19 with a City Council hearing.

To learn more about the plan, watch this video and visit the project website.

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stage 1 water curtailment

In recognition of the July 1 Drought Declaration for Deschutes County, a Stage 1 water curtailment alert has been issued for the City of Bend. This Stage 1 water curtailment alert, in accordance with our state-approved water conservation and management plan, will not require any mandatory actions by customers at this time. It serves as a reminder that everyone needs to be responsible with water use. Read the full press release here.
For the latest City of Bend drought-related information visit bendoregon.gov/drought.


crosswalk by ponderosa park and 15th

Building on the success of the Neighborhood Greenways project, Councilors prioritized funding for the creation of a traffic safety program in the 2019-2021 biennial budget. With neighborhood speeding and its effect on livability as one of the top complaints the City receives each year, the Neighborhood Street Safety Program was created to build small-scale residential street projects to help address these issues.

More than 360 applications were submitted by residents across Bend in the fall of 2019. An interactive mapping tool was created to allow the public to track projects as they were reviewed and ranked by the 13 Neighborhood Associations in Bend. The top 25 projects from the associations were then advanced to the Neighborhood Leadership Alliance (NLA) advisory committee. The committee worked with City staff to prioritize the top eight projects within the $800,000 of funding available across the neighborhoods.

The first of the eight selected projects was completed this spring, providing a safe crossing to Ponderosa Park from 15th Street. The remaining projects will be built in 2020 and 2021.

See the interactive mapping tool, view project designs, and more at bendoregon.gov/streetsafety.


expanding dining downtown bend

Some businesses in downtown Bend have temporarily expanded their operations into the right-of-way to help meet COVID-19 physical distancing requirements. The use of right-of-way for business operations is part of a City program to help support local businesses that might need more space to operate during the reopening process.

Under the program, businesses can apply to temporarily use right-of-ways, such as sidewalks and public parking spaces, to extend their business operations outdoors. So far, about seven businesses have received permits to expand their seating and dining outside into the right-of way. A few more businesses are expected to apply.
Click here for more information about additional outdoor space for businesses.


speed sign 20 mph neighborhood greenways

In March 2020, Councilors approved Phase 2 of the Bicycle Greenways project, also known as Neighborhood Greenways, on multiple streets including NW Milwaukee, SE 2nd, SE Roosevelt, SE Centennial and SE Paiute. Councilors approved designating speeds of 20 mph on these Neighborhood Greenways when posted.

Phase 2 construction is about half done, and should wrap up in mid-August. Later this summer, Council is expected to vote on a construction contract for Phase 3, which is planned for later in the fall and includes NW Cumberland, Gilchrist, Shasta, Delaware and Division.

For information on neighborhood greenway designs and answers to frequently asked questions, visit bendoregon.gov/neighborhoodgreenways.


 butler market 27th roundabout

As part of the Empire Corridor Improvements Project, the new roundabout at Butler Market Road and 27th Street will be partially opened to north-south traffic beginning in mid-August. This is the first of a series of traffic and detour changes along Butler Market Road as three new roundabouts near their completion in early fall.

Exact dates for the partial roundabout opening and traffic changes at Butler Market Road and 27th Street are still being finalized. 

Updates on the timing of the opening and a map of upcoming detour changes will be posted at bendoregon.gov/empire.

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river cleanup day at riverbend park

The City continues being an active supporter of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Councilís Deschutes River Cleanup Day, taking place this year on Saturday, July 25, 2020.

Mark your calendars and join us, your friends, and neighbors to help pull weeds and collect litter along our beautiful waterways! Click here to learn more and register.


grand prize winner bella moon clean water works video contest

Bella Moon, Grand Prize Winner


Congratulations to the winners of our 2020 Clean Water Works Video Contest!

  • Dylan Laughery (5th - 8th grade division)
  • Megan Koblegarde (9th - 12th grade division and People's Choice Award)
  • Bella Moon (pictured above) - Grand Prize - Entry: "Clean Roads Clean Water"

All winners received prizes. As grand prize winner, Bella wins the opportunity to work with media professionals to convert her 30-second film into a professional public service announcement focusing on pollution prevention to protect our river and have it debut at the BendFilm Festival.

We appreciate all of our fifth through twelfth grade students who entered this year and look forward to seeing more great entries next year.

The City hosts the Clean Water Works Video Contest annually in partnership with BendFilm and Central Oregon Daily News. The theme this year was reducing pollution from automobile wheels.

To view the winning entries and learn more about the contest, visit bendoregon.gov/CleanWaterWorksKids.


bend core area

On August 5, 2020, City Council will hold a public hearing on the adoption of the Core Area Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Plan, commonly called Urban Renewal.  The hearing is the result of a multi-year public process that included a public advisory board, community surveys, open houses and events, and presentations to applicable taxing districts.

Public comments on the plan may be submitted for City Council consideration in writing by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, to mstuart@bendoregon.gov. Public comments may also be provided via telephone during the public hearing. A toll-free number to call in with comments will be posted on the meeting agenda at: bendoregon.gov/councilagenda.

For more information on the plan, visit bendoregon.gov/core-area-tif.


Transportation Bond

At the City council meeting on July 15, Council began discussing the possibility of placing a general obligation bond measure for transportation projects on the November 2020 ballot. The $190 million bond would likely include the same projects listed in the May 2020 ballot measure. Council removed the measure from the May ballot amid uncertainty of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. No decision was made on a bond measure at the Council meeting. Council will continue its discussion during its Aug. 5 meeting.

COVID-19: Discouraging Travel to Bend

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community, Council voted to direct the City Manager to re-issue an administrative order discouraging travel to Bend. The order will be similar to the one issued in May, which expired when Deschutes County entered Phase 2 of Reopening Oregon. This new administrative order will expire on Labor Day. Council is expected to ratify the order on Aug. 5.

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roger prowell

On July 9, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names approved "Prowell Springs" as the name for the source of Bendís surface water. The name honors the late Roger Prowell who worked in the Cityís water division for 24 years, ultimately serving as its Water Quality Supervisor. Prowell was known for his unwavering dedication to protecting the water quality within the Bend Municipal Watershed where the springs are located.

‚ÄúThis honor recognizes the loving care Roger provided to all Bend community members through his protection and care of our watershed,‚ÄĚ said Stormwater Program Manager Wendy Edde, who led the Cityís efforts to support naming the springs.

The effort garnered widespread support throughout the community and state, with hundreds signing letters, several submitting personal letters of support, the City Council and Deschutes County Commissioners supporting the effort, and a local craft brewery naming a beer after the man who took special care to connect the Bend community to its surface water source.

Prowell Springs will now be entered into the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geographic Names Information System. The name will be found when using online map servers. It will also be printed on the next series of USGS topographic maps on the Broken Top quadrangle.

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New utility rates went into effect July 1, 2020. You may notice some changes to your bill as a result. Visit bendoregon.gov/utilityrates for more information.

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