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home : current news : current news January 17, 2019

12/18/2018 1:31:00 PM
City snapshot
By Sue Stafford

• Sisters' new City Manager, Cory Misley, has been on the job for three weeks and has been meeting one-on-one with City staff and Council, attending meetings, becoming familiar with the vision process and its results, and learning the lay of the land.

• The recently reinstated Housing Policy Advisory Board held their initial meeting on December 11. Sharlene Weed, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, was selected as chairman. Susan Wilson, vice chairman, is a representative from outside the city and has extensive experience in affordable housing policy development, finance, and construction. The board will meet the second Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

• At their December 12 workshop, the Council heard from Mathias Perle of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council on the 50 percent design review for Whychus Creek where it flows through the city between Creekside Park and the Creekside Campground.

The project, partially funded by several grants, will include making the footbridge ADA accessible with the addition of new ramps, creek-bank restoration and riparian management, the creation of specific access points to the creek with installation of split-rail fencing and steps down to the creek, burying the pressure sewer line now hanging on the upside of the Locust Street bridge under the creekbed upstream from the bridge, and grooving of the concrete cap on the gravity sewer line in-stream above the Highway 20 bridge to improve fish passage conditions.

Other pieces of the project include interpretive signage and stewardship education as to why the creek is important to Sisters. Once the work is all completed, it will take three to five years for the vegetation to reach the five- to six-foot height.

• The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire study has been completed and results were presented to City Council on December 12. The study involved a competitive application process for communities. Once chosen, Sisters was one of 26 communities across the country to receive the fully funded study.

The purpose of the program is to show communities how to better plan growth in a responsible way to increase their fire adaptation. The study determined that the entire city of Sisters is an interface area due to ember impact. The majority of damage would come from embers floating into town.

In 1997, there were 700 structures lost to wildfire nationally. In 2017, 12,000 were lost. In 2018, more than 12,000 were lost in one fire. The Sisters Vision plan contains strategies addressing hazard mitigation.

• The Sisters Horizons Vision final report will be brought to Council at their February 13 meeting for adoption. That will bring a year-long process to its conclusion. Then the work begins on implementing the plan.

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