Tackling affordable housing
Like Bend, housing affordability is a huge issue in Redmond. Redmond, however, faces a higher rate of poverty than Bend, and a far lower overall household income.
To tackle issues of housing affordability, the City of Redmond awarded Housing Works a $450,000 Community Block Grant in November, allowing Housing Works to buy a 1.97-acre parcel in Redmond's Mid-Town area, where they'll build 48 residential apartments meant for people earning at or below 80 percent median income. In November, Redmond lost out to Bend in a new state pilot program aimed at increasing affordable housing stock by allowing annexation of new land into the city's Urban Growth Boundary.
As the region's population grows, so does the need for expanded airport services. In December, United announced non-stop service from Redmond to Chicago will start in June, making East Coast destinations more accessible.
A $10 million expansion of the runway at Roberts Field, the regional airport owned by the City of Redmond, was completed Oct. 29. The project kicked off in February, making the runway 7,006 feet long and 100 feet wide.
"This runway reconstruction is one more example of our continued investment in airport infrastructure," stated Mayor George Endicott in a news release. "The community benefits from a safer, more efficient airport and the economic dividends these investments will yield over the next twenty years."
Other changes at Roberts Field: Increased parking fees. The daily rate increased from $10 to $15 as of Jan. 1, and the airport has plans to add 300 more spaces. Airport officials say the current parking lot, which has 1,150 spaces, has reached capacity several times.
A need for more library services
Redmond has just one library—one built for a city of 12,000 people that includes just 18 computers and between 50,000 and 60,000 books. A recent capital plan released by the Deschutes Public Library system—which includes Bend, Redmond and La Pine libraries—stated that Redmond could use a library with two-thirds of increased space. DPL's plan estimated that a new "high-end" library would cost about $31 million, which would require replacing the current building with a new one. This fall, DPL is expected to decide whether to go out for a county bond to cover expansion and enhancement of services across the library system. This report was compiled by Isaac Biehl and Nicole Vulcan
Some of the contrasts can be demonstrated by the data from the U.S. Census Bureau.