Library District to work with City of Bend on annexation

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – While 53% of participating Deschutes County voters last fall approved a measure of obligation which would build a “world-class” central library just north of the city limits of Bend, along the highway. 20, there is still a major hurdle to clear before construction can begin, and some critics of the project are lobbying.

Since the land on which the new central library will be built is located just outside the city limits, the Deschutes Public Library will need to work with city councilors to annex the land to the city limits. Todd Dunkelberg, the district library director, told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday that this could cause delays, which will ultimately affect taxpayers.

“The longer delays we have will be more costly to our county and the taxpayers of Deschutes County,” Dunkelberg said.

At the Deschutes Public Library board meeting on Wednesday, a few members of the public expressed frustration with the planned location of the central library, including current city councilor Anthony Broadman and chairman of the board of directors. Central Oregon Council on Aging Director Louis Capozzi.

Capozzi wrote an open letter to the board outlining a number of issues he was having trouble with.

Capozzi wrote: “There are a number of concerns affecting our aging population regarding both location and plan. We strongly prefer that more resources be devoted to expanding and improving our community libraries, where your primary audiences reside. … How does a senior person in La Pine make the 100 km round trip to your chosen location? ”

Dunkelberg said the central library, which has a construction start date of 2023, will also improve accessibility to Highway 20 by adding a cycle path.

“We really think we owe it to our voting public to continue this project,” Dunkelberg said. “We are moving forward with the hope that this is the property for us and that we will be successful in constructing the building.”

The library plans to meet with architects in July to kick off the design process. Dunkelberg added that the public will be included in the design process later this year, in September.

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