Park Board to Vote Tuesday on Funding Mirror Pond Dredging | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Park Board to Vote Tuesday on Funding Mirror Pond Dredging 

BPRD would commit $300K in public funds if resolution passes

The Board of Directors of Bend Park and Recreation District will vote Tuesday on a resolution that would see the District contributing $300,000 toward dredging Mirror Pond. The pond has not been dredged since 1984, and advocates for dredging say it's necessary to preserve the pond's iconic nature.

click to enlarge EMBLEM CLUB/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Emblem Club/Wikimedia Commons

According to the agenda set for BPRD's Dec. 18 meeting, the board will reserve time to vote on Resolution 418, which commits funds toward the projected $6.7 million cost for dredging the pond. Under the language of the resolution, BPRD would commit $300,000 in funds, with the condition that the City of Bend and PacificCorp each contribute $300,000. A spokesperson for Mirror Pond Solutions—the group that owns the land under the pond—told the Source last week that they'd gathered $320,000 in pledges from private funders to contribute to dredging. MPS has also obtained the necessary regulatory permits for dredging.

The language of the BPRD resolution states that "the City of Bend and District agree that maintaining the Pond is a net community benefit for its iconic views, receiving water body from storm water outfalls, and for its recreation potential."

The Board Agenda Communication issued by BPRD Executive Director Don Horton states, "It is important to note that the Board’s authority to contribute funding to this type of project must tie to a park and recreation need. The Board does not have the authority to fund a project because we are a neighboring land
owner, even if the Board deems the District is financially capable of doing so. It is reasonable to make a decision that the $300,000 funding would allow for
the historic recreational use of the pond to continue and that the amount of $300,000 is a justified expenditure for this use, and therefore allowed under Oregon law."

As reported in the Source Dec. 11, PacifiCorp, which owns Newport Dam—the impoundment creating the body of water known as Mirror Pond—has tentatively agreed to commit $300,000 in funds from its foundation to help pay for dredging. In addition, PacifiCorp has entered into discussions with the City of Bend to raise the franchise fees the City charges Pacific Power to cover the remainder of the cost of dredging. A spokesperson from PacifiCorp told the Source Dec. 11 that it would be required to pass the increase in franchise fees to customers within the city limits of Bend.

Those interested in offering input on the board's vote can submit a comment to board@bendparksandrec.org, or attend Tuesday's meeting. The board will take up the issue of Resolution 418 during the business section of the meeting, which starts at 7 pm Dec. 18. 

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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