11/7/2017 12:54:00 PM Future of east portal area is uncertain
By Sue Stafford
Travelers into Sisters often miss the "east portal" area located between the east end of Highway 242 and Highway 20. Signage is not very prominent and many don't know that there's a parking lot, labyrinth, and bathrooms there.
The seven acres of land belongs to the U.S. Forest Service and is zoned as open space. The restroom located there is maintained by the City of Sisters public works department and is closed for the winter. The acreage is part of the Forest Service headquarters property that is currently for sale.
Public Works Director Paul Bertagna informed the Parks Advisory Board last week that he discussed several options in talks with the Forest Service regarding the challenges of the property. If the City doesn't continue to maintain the restrooms and garbage facilities, the Forest Service doesn't have the staff to maintain the property and would permanently close the facilities. If the City were to purchase those seven acres, they could be turned into a park of some kind, perhaps a dog park, to protect the open space and trees on the west entrance into town.
To eliminate illegal dumping at the portal during the winter, the Forest Service is going to provide a gate, which the City will install. If a gate is not available, the City can place large boulders across the driveway to block entry.