Sisters City Council has lofty goals for 2013

Include improvements for Cascade Avenue, airport annexation

Sisters City Council sets 2013 goals

SISTERS, Ore. - The Sisters City Council has some lofty goals for the year, which include improving Cascade Avenue and annexing the airport. And that's just the beginning.

The Western style town serves as the gateway for many travelers coming to and from Central Oregon on Highway 20.

But the heavily used main street through town, Cascade Avenue, is deteriorating.

"We are going to rebuild the road and widen the sidewalks, make it more pedestrian friendly," Sisters City Council President McKibben Womack said Wednesday.

Construction is expected to start this August and will last through the winter.

"That is by far the top priority for this council," Womack said. "Making sure that happens smoothly, that we handle that in the best way we can, so when we look back, we go, 'We did that right.'"

No. 2 on the city's priorities: annexation of the Sisters Airport.

"It's no easy thing, bringing a property into a city," Womack said. "We are hoping to get that done just as quickly and smoothly."

Voters in November approved bringing the airport into the city. Now, they are wrapping up legal work to make it happen.

"We were looking at how can we do paths, bike paths, walking paths?" Womack said. "They have a community garden out there, which we are really excited about."

Several of the city's top priorities include of course, economic development.

Sisters is currently finalizing an agreement with EDCO (Economic Development for Central Oregon).

"That will take our economic development position and move it under EDCO," Womack said. "What EDCO has to offer is something we cant do by ourselves."

One goal the city hopes will bring more business: The city plans to use room tax dollars for business-friendly projects.

City officials hope to get land developed that is currently sitting unused by the post office.

If the city council's goals are realized this year: utility rates will be demand-based, more youth will be involved in local government, and nearby residents will have more of a say in city affairs.

"I don't think we can accomplish all of them in 2013," Womack said. "My goal and the goal of the city councilors is let's at least start them."

The city council will have a workshop to discuss and prioritize the goals. The council has asked staff to come up with budget numbers for them as well. They will discuss that in a budget strategy session on Feb. 28.

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