City panel hires pond dredger; targets April 1

A floating dredge should be chewing up the muddy river bottom in Mirror Pond by April 1 because of action Wednesday by Bend city commissioners.

The commissioners awarded a contract to a Salem company, Sandau Dredging, to scoop out about 56,000 cubic yards of silt from the pond.

The company’s bid, the lowest of eight the city received, was for $267,280. Bend officials had set a $300,000 ceiling on the projects cost.

“That’s a relief,” commissioner Mike Rose said of the low bid.

Commissioners and other interested in having the shallow pond deepened have been trying for several years to get the job accomplished. It wasn’t until the past year, however, that enough money was raised to pay for it.

A number of parties have pooled their resources and amassed $300,000.

The city and the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District each have committed $50,000. Pacific Power & Light Co., whose dam near Newport Avenue created the looking-glass pond, has promised to pay $30,000. Another $20,000 has accumulated through the donations from the community, almost all of it from riverside residents.

Half the total has been generated via a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Besides the $267,280 to be paid to the dredging contractor, other costs will be incurred in the project as well. Extra costs will include engineering and inspections by the city and restoration of Pageant Park near Harmon Park. The sod at the park will be skimmed off and transferred to a park site being developed across town before the dredge arrives in order to prevent the grass from being damaged when the bulky machine is put into the river.

In another matter related to the river, commissioners delayed a decision on an appeal by Jack Fuls of Bend, who wants to build a hydroelectric generation project in northern Bend.

Fuls’ lawyer, David Jaqua of Redmond, told the panel that Michael Dugan, city/county hearings officer, made a number of errors in rejecting Fuls’ application last summer.

He said Dugan’s findings and conclusions were inconsistent with testimony and evidence presented at a public hearing and with the city’s zoning ordinance.

He argued that the project would cause little harm to the environment in that it would preserve a minimum river flow of 40 cubic feet per second and would be subsequently screened from public view.

Fuls plans to take the water from an irrigation canal that diverts water from the river and returns it to the river after running it through a power house. The project would operate only during the non-irrigation season.

Commissioners said they would rule on Fuls’ appeal at their March 7 meeting.

Source: The Bulletin ©1984