City of Banks ‘state of the city’ address: new water infrastructure, growth in city’s future

Banks – Dozens of local residents and Washington County officials filled a room on the evening of Thursday, March 1 at Banks Fire District #13 to hear the 2018 State of the City address with Mayor Pete Edison.

Opening remarks were given by city councilor Teri Branstitre, with Edison following with a presentation that covered the accomplishments of the city from the past year and looked forward to a number of projects coming in 2018 and beyond in the City of Banks.

Edison began by recognizing the various local government officials in the room, and then started the main portion of his address with the completion of the Jane Moore Community Room at the Banks Public Library, a project 10 years in the making.

Read an opinion piece written by Mayor Edison about the Jane Moore Community room here.

The Jane Moore Community Room, named after an early founder of the Banks Public Library, is a space for local organizations and the Banks Public Library to hold events and meetings in.

Edison continued with remarks covering the city’s “Vision 2037 Plan,” (originally called the 2036 plan) a 20 year vision plan for the Banks downtown area.

View the full plan here (pdf).

Hand-in-hand with the 2037 plan, the city of Banks created an Urban Renewal District in 105.9 acres of the city, much of which is in downtown Banks. The district is a funding mechanism to cover the costs of a number of projects in the city.

View the Banks Urban Renewal Plan here (pdf).

The city also completed renovations of their council chambers, which also includes an employee break room.

What happened to an integral part of the old city council chambers? Find out in our article here.

The future: development and water

Edison moved into the next portion of the state of the city with a look to future development and infrastructure in the city.

According to Edison, the city of Banks water system loses 1.5 million gallons of water every month to leaks in their aging water pipes, and the city hopes to address that with a $3.5 to $3.8 million new water transmission line in the fall of 2018 on Sellers, Banks, and Cedar Canyon Roads.

“It’s like finding a whole new water source,” said Edison.

A second project will add a new water line on Commerce Street to Sunset Avenue, and connect the existing dead end water lines on Market and Depot Streets into a loop. The project will also repave and add curbing to Commerce Street and do sidewalk work in the area. The project could start as soon as weather permits, according to Edison.

A final project is a study to find new water sources and explore the possibility of an Aquifer Storage and Recovery system. The system would store excess water underground during the winter months for use during the summer when other water sources begin to dry up in the hills above Banks.

The study is expected to be released by June 2018.

Edison also mentioned the work of the Banks Economic Development Council and their efforts to improve business in the city of Banks.

He also called out a specific city employee – Michael Walker – to highlight the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program by the University of Oregon.

Read our article about Michael Walker here.

Edison also gave a rundown of four pending development projects that could occur soon in Banks; Phase 9 in Arbor Village; an approximately 30 acre plat at Quail Valley Golf Course; another nearly 30 acre plot north of the town, and a recently annexed portion of land in west Banks.

Edison closed with a mention of the North Banks intersection project – a proposal to redesign the Banks/Sellers/Cedar Canyon Road/Main Street/Highway 47 intersection with either a roundabout or lighted traffic signal.

Edison says the project seems more likely to become a roundabout at this point.

Read our article about an open house about the intersection held on December 7.

Edison concluded with a video by several Banks High School students that showed Pete Edison (portrayed by Max Merritt) wrestling with a decision to vote on the annexation of land into the city of Banks. Timely intervention came in the form of advice from John L. Banks, namesake of the city of Banks, who explained why he thought annexation was a good idea in the humorous video.

This article has been updated to correct the day of the state of the city address from Monday to Thursday.

Sources and more information: 

Reporting at the state of the city event
Public records requests regarding water line maps