A big decision and many smaller ones face the Bend Park and Rec Board as they consider whether to put a $30 million to $40 million bond measure on the November ballot.
The possible bond was up for discussion during Tuesday night's work session at the Park and Rec district office.
"I think we heard tonight that they are going to take that step," Don Horton, the park district's executive director, said afterward. "So the next stage for us is to take our project list, take it back out to the community to get further input and to see what the community really wants this bond measure to look like."
During the work session, board members discussed what could be paid for under the bond, but the underlying tone was that everyone needs to be on board.
Board member Ted Schoenborn said to his colleagues they need to decide "what elements should be included in that (measure), and then after that decision is made, how do we manage the campaign?"
"We are going to have to give this 150 percent and nothing else, in order for it to have any chance of success," said board member Ruth Williamson.
Last month, consultants surveyed 401 voters to see what they might support and what they wanted to see done with their money.
After being read a detailed ballot summary, 56 percent of voters said they would pass the bond.
The top funding priorities were all conservation-oriented. For example, 61 percent of respondents said it's important to focus on the water quality of the Deschutes River.
"There is an overwhelming support for projects that are Deschutes River-centric." said Horton.
Also, 46 percent of those surveyed say it's important to make passage through the Colorado Avenue Dam, the scene of some deadly accidents over the years, safe for canoeists, kayakers and inner tubers.
Connecting the river trail system from Sunriver to La Pine was deemed important by 43 percent of respondents.
People out and about at the parkss appeared to agree.
"If the trail system was expanded in the city of Bend, then I think all athletes would appreciate it, as well as the tourists," said Colleen Buckendorf.
Another woman said, "I just really like the way the parks have been going lately. They've been doing a very nice job, having areas for people to be at."
Board members will now work to build a project list that could be paid for by the bond. They plan to hold several meetings in the coming months to get feedback from the community.
"We'll take that information and we'll work with the board of directors to determine what that final project list will look like," said Horton.
The park district has until Sept. 6 to decide whether to put the measure on the November ballot.
Your opinion is also sought in our KTVZ.COM Poll, where we ask if you think Bend Park and Rec should put a big bond measure before voters this fall. Take a stand in the poll that you can find on the right side about halfway down our home page.