Park board hires project manager

The Bend Park & Recreation District has hired a new project manager to tackle the Mirror Pond silt situation.

Jim Figurski started last week, said Don Horton, executive director of the park district. One of his chief tasks will be figuring out the future of Mirror Pond.

For the past decade Figurski was with GreenWorks, a landscape architecture and environmental design firm in Portland, said Mike Faha, principal at the company. Before that he worked for Portland Parks and Recreation for 10 years.

Figurski was a project manager and then technical director for GreenWorks, Faha said. His projects include Tanner Springs Park, a wetland in Portland’s Pearl District, and the Confluence Project, a series of art-based parks along the Columbia River designed by Maya Lin. Lin also designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

He is well versed with “complicated, high-profile projects,” Faha said, particularly those that require permits from a variety of local, state and federal agencies. Figurski could not be reached Friday for comment.

“He’s very experienced and well-seasoned,” Faha said. “Bend parks is lucky to have him.”

Since late 2010, the Mirror Pond Steering Committee has been meeting regularly to discuss silt buildup in the pond. The committee is composed of city and park district officials, along with Bill Smith, a Bend developer whose company owns the dam upstream of the pond; an official from Pacific Power, which owns the dam creating the pond; and a member of the civic group Bend 2030.

The city and park district have pledged $200,000 toward finding a solution for Mirror Pond.

Silt is collecting in the pond, forming mud flats that could degrade water quality in the river. The focus has been on the possibility of dredging the pond, which is estimated to cost from $2 million to $5 million.

Figurski will be doing public outreach to find out what Bend residents want to see done with the pond, said Mel Oberst, director of community development for the city and member of the pond steering committee.

“His first task will be to put together a work program,” Oberst said.

Source: The Bulletin ©2012

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