By Beau Eastes

The Bulletin

REDMOND — Redmond could be in for a blast of collegiate ingenuity next fall.

The Redmond City Council enthusiastically pledged its support Tuesday night during a special meeting for a proposed partnership with the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP).

Redmond city staff plans on submitting an application to the UO program, which partners students across multiple disciplines with Oregon communities looking at incorporating more sustainable practices. If Redmond is selected as the school’s partner community for the 2015-16 school year — the application process is competitive — SCYP Director Marc Schlossberg said the city could expect approximately 500 students devoting 60,000 to 80,000 work hours to a list of Redmond-area projects.

“We’re taking the resources of the university and helping communities,” said Schlossberg, who presented the City Council with a 20-minute overview of the program, which is now in its fifth year. The SCYP has worked with Gresham, Salem and Springfield and this year is collaborating with Medford. “We’re excited to help the community with projects they might have been working on for a while and some they didn’t even know existed.”

Applications for the program, which incorporates students from various majors and courses, are due Jan. 30. A community or municipal group will be selected in February, according to Schlossberg, after which UO and the chosen applicant will start the process of figuring out which projects to tackle in the coming school year.

The selection for the program should be announced in April.

Some of the project ideas that were proposed for the SCYP application included a feasibility study of a Redmond sports complex, the possibility of extending Centennial Park, the possible need for a downtown parking and design and marketing ideas for the Redmond Airport. Applicants usually submit 20 to 25 project ideas, Schlossberg noted, and that number is whittled down to about 18 that are actually worked on.

“I think this is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Councilwoman Ginny McPherson. “I love the idea of students working with us.”

The program would cost the city $250,000 to $300,000, according to Redmond Community Development Director Heather Richards. But according to Richards, most of the proposed projects are expected to be included in the 2015-16 general budget.

In other news, the council voted unanimously to extend the Forked Horn Butte Road reimbursement district for another six months.

— Reporter: 541-383-0305,

beastes@bendbulletin.com

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