Reflections from May regional Forum: Growth’s Impacts on our Communities

Central Oregon is among the fastest growing regions in the U.S. Regional population forecast data for the Bend-Redmond area shows us just how fast:

  • Between 1990 and 2017, our population grew 122 percent.
  • By 2025, our population will increase by another 37,000 people, or 16 percent.
  • By 2040, our population will increase by 113,000 people, or 49 percent.
  • And by 2065, our population will have nearly doubled to 250,000 people or by 107 percent.

Growth doesn’t just mean we need more services—it also means we may need to think differently about how we provide them. That’s because as more people move into the region, our demographics will change. Already social and public safety services are stretched thin and some city managers at the forum said they don’t have the tax base to adequately address these gaps.

Affordable housing continues to be one of the top concerns and priorities of city managers. Since the first quarter of 2010, wages in the area have increased 26.7 percent, while the median home price increased about 82 percent. Without secure housing, some are living on the edge. In Redmond, for example, 30 percent of residents are living in poverty, making steady wage jobs a top priority there.

Maintaining each city’s identity and culture was also identified as a concern by many of the city managers.

If you want to watch the forum again, the recording will be available on our website.

City Club wishes to thank forum moderator, Scott Aycock, manager of community and economic development for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), and our panelists:

  • Gus Burril, Madras City Manager
  • Betty Roppe, Prineville Mayor
  • Eric King, Bend City Manager
  • Brant Kucera, Sisters City Manager
  • Cory Misley, La Pine City Manager
  • Keith Witcosky, Redmond City Manager

Engage!

City Club forum program team

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2018-06-20T23:51:49+00:00