Mirror Pond Steering Committee plans silt proposal

The Mirror Pond Steering Committee said Tuesday it has begun a program that will result in a preferred course of action to address silt build-up in Bend’s iconic Mirror Pond, with the goal of a recommendation by late spring.

“The process takes into consideration current public values for the pond, past studies, identification of regulatory requirements associated with each action, and rough cost estimates to inform a recommendation for both immediate and long-term responses to the silt build-up,” the committee said.

“Many people have opinions and ideas about what to do or not to do around the build-up of silt in the pond,” said Don Horton, Park and Recreation District executive director.

“What was done years ago now requires additional regulatory steps and expense. Dredging still may be the best solution, but this body of work will allow us to explore several options and arrive at a solution that is both informed and achievable.”

Public input is crucial to this process. The first step in the three-phased project is to identify the key values that Bend citizens associate with the Mirror Pond.

Bend residents are asked to go to www.MirrorPondBend.com to complete a questionnaire on the characteristics of Mirror Pond that matter most to them.

In addition to the questionnaire, the Website provides information on the history of the silt build-up and its impact on the river and community.

For people who would prefer to hear background on the project or ask questions in person, two opportunities have been scheduled: Wednesday, February 6th and Tuesday, February 12th. Both meetings will be held at Bend Park and Recreation District office at 799 SW Columbia. The meeting (presentation) will begin at 6:30.

The second phase of the project will present detailed illustrations representing alternative actions.

Projected range of costs, possible regulatory requirements, and the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative action will be presented to the community for input through the website, public meetings, and public gatherings. It is anticipated that this phase of the project will begin in early April.

In the third and final phase, those actions most closely aligned with community values and interests will be presented to the Mirror Pond Management Board, a seventeen member citizen’s group appointed by the City Council, for consideration.

The Management Board’s recommendation will be presented to the community. It is anticipated that a decision will be made by late spring.

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