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Mayor, city manager talk 652-acre UGB expansion, variety of new city programs

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - City Manager Kim Yamashita addressed questions about the Sandy Community Campus proposed to be built on the old Cedar Ridge Middle School site. Several city staff, Sandy Chamber of Commerce members and community movers and shakers came together on Wednesday, March 28, for lunch and a State of the City address at the Sandy Public Library, 38980 Proctor Blvd. Both Mayor Bill King and City Manager Kim Yamashita talked about city projects and successes from 2017 and those to come in 2018.

Last June, the city underwent its latest urban growth boundary expansion, and the city gained up to 652 acres.

"As we grow, I want to keep the small-town feel where everybody knows their neighbor," Mayor Bill King said. "It's very important to balance our growth with quality of life."

Since the expansion, there have been 144 applications for single-family homes and 12 applications for annexations into the city.

Many more established Sandy businesses benefitted from the city's economic development facade improvement program within the last year, including Joe's Donuts, the Sandy Community Action Center, La Bamba, the Sandy Market Place, Shell and newcomers Scooters Sports Bar and Grill and Timberline Meats.

Sandy Net's fiber internet services have grown in popularity and has now been extended to the business community. There are now 40 businesses connected with fiber.

In 2018 city staff plan to make improvements to the Sandy City Hall, the Trout Pub building and the Positive Touch Chiropractic schoolhouse building.

Besides renovations, the city also looks forward to completing a facilities plan for the wastewater treatment plant and design work for the sidewalk project between Ten Eyck Road and Vista Loop, on which workers will begin construction in 2019.

In 2017 the Sandy Police Department received a new fleet of all-wheel-drive vehicles, with which they responded to 16,000 calls. Because of work done by the police and proactive community members, Sandy was recently named the fifth-safest city in Oregon.

As for community services, opportunities for the residents of Sandy have increased in the past year, and they're proposed to only get better.

The addition of the Sandy Transit Department's new trolley-style shopping shuttle has increased ridership of the shopping shuttle by 100 percent.

"All of that by grant money," King noted. "We're trying to find ways to best use your tax dollars."

A few people in attendance asked questions about the Sandy Community Campus proposed to be built where the old Cedar Ridge Middle School sits on Pleasant Street.

"We're really trying to be very careful as far as the pool goes, (making it) energy efficient," Yamashita said. "What we have learned from the community was that the pool was the driving interest of the community. ... I'm pretty confident (Community Services Director Tanya Richardson) will make (the pool) successful."

Yamashita explained that the pool is most in need of improvements to the HVAC system, a deep cleaning and the designation of spaces for specific use, such as birthday parties and group activities.

"We're really hoping to have a nice facility," King said. "We need more room. As our community grows, so do our needs for our community and seniors."

"The focus is really to stop separating seniors and the community and making this a multi-generational facility," Yamashita added.

The city plans to host an open house to welcome community input as the project progresses.

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