Federal Funds for NB Infrastructure
City of North Bend release – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has used his seat as Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Interior to secure $1.340 Million for North Bend in the annual spending bill for the subcommittee that will help the City with its storm and sanitary sewer infrastructure replacement and upgrade projects. The appropriations bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies is the basis for negotiations with the House, as Congress works to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2022. The congressionally directed spending, also advocated for by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, includes a compilation of prioritized infrastructure projects related to maintaining compliance with the City’s current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and the Clean Water Act requirements. The full Senate and House must still vote on the legislation. The City of North Bend’s 2021-22 Priority Storm & Sanitary Infrastructure Project includes replacement of select wastewater pump stations, sewer replacement, storm lining, cured in place pipes, and storm drainage systems throughout the City, including projects on Broadway Avenue, Pony Slough Road, Madrona Street, and Virginia Street. North Bend’s aging utility infrastructure has become an issue with the last major upgrades to the wastewater and storm drainage systems occurring in the 1980s. The City’s existing treatment facility was last upgraded in 1991. The average age of underground piping is nearing 60 years, with typically a 50-year design life on that portion of the system and 20-year design life on mechanical equipment. While reserve funding was put in place, recent occurrences such as a limitation on user fee increases to the social security rate increase, and a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) permit likely requiring significant system improvements limit the City’s ability to fund its needed utility replacement projects. Maintaining and upgrading stormwater and wastewater systems is vital to ensuring the economic and environmental health of our community,” North Bend City Administrator David Milliron said. “As the appropriations process moves forward, the City of North Bend looks forward to working with Senators Merkley and Wyden and their Congressional staff members to champion these projects that will benefit all our residents and business owners.” Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making. Thank You, Senators Merkley and Wyden, for going the extra mile for North Benders!
NB Mayor Appointed to LOC Board
City of North Bend release – Friday, the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) elected North Bend Mayor Jessica Engelke to its 2022 Board of Directors. Mayor Engelke will serve a three-year term. “I’m honored to be named to the LOC’s board of directors,” said Mayor Engelke. “It’s important to advocate on behalf of Oregon’s cities and help foster a sense of unity. Together, we can make a tremendous impact statewide.” Created in 1925 through an intergovernmental agreement of incorporated cities, the LOC is essentially an extended department of all 241 Oregon cities. The League helps city governments serve their citizens by providing legislative services, policy setting, intergovernmental relations, conferences and training, technical assistance and publications. Mayor Engelke is North Bend’s first woman mayor and has served on the City Council since November 2018. Mayor Engelke is currently serving on various local and regional boards, including Board Chair for CCD Business Development Corporation and Board Member/Co-Chair for Bay Area Enterprises. Mayor Engelke is a Professor of Business Management and Marketing at Southwestern Oregon Community College. Mayor Engelke joins the LOC Board as North Bend Councilor Timm Slater rolls off the League’s Executive Committee. He served as President of the League in 2018 and will remain on its Board of Directors as an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the board. Councilor Slater was appointed to the North Bend City Council in May 1981. The next 17½ years were spent in city service, including 12 as Mayor. He was re-elected to City Council in November 2012 and then appointed to the Council in November 2020 to fill the unexpired term of Councilor Engelke after she was sworn in as Mayor. He has served as a member of the Coos Bay-North Bend Water Board, Chair of the Coos County Planning Commission, founder of the Coos County Mayors Forum, and Chair of the Bay Area Enterprise Zone. Councilor Slater is a Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club member and served on the Coos Library Board and Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (where he currently serves as its Executive Director). He completed a 32-year Army Reserve career. The LOC is governed by a 16-member board of directors. The board consists of four officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Immediate Past President) who serve one-year terms in each role on a four-year rotation, and 12 directors who serve three-year terms. Nine directors are elected city officials, and three directors are appointed city staff. In the first year of the appointed city staff’s term, they are non-voting. In addition, past presidents who are still in elected office continue serving as ex officio (non-voting) members of the board. For more information, please visit www.orcities.org.