Mirror Pond and the power house are a big part of Bend’s history. I would think they have historical protection. Removal of the dam will not restore the Deschutes River to be free-flowing throughout Bend. There are three other dams or diversions. The one at Colorado Avenue is intended to be redesigned to a Class IV rapids, among other features. Removing Newport Dam will only move the silt problem downriver. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may require fish passage for the dam if electrical power generation is to continue. The first thing we need is an engineers’ evaluation of the dam. If the dam is sound, I would like to see the historical value of Drake Park and Mirror Pond preserved. If the people of Bend agree with me, I would suggest we have a cost analysis of a vacuum dredge like the ones used for removing sludge from sewage lagoons. This would be done on a continued basis as part of maintenance of Mirror Pond. This could possibly be funded jointly by parks, city, power generation, irrigation districts and property owners bordering Mirror Pond.
Source: The Bulletin ©2013