September 27, 2011 - KTVZ - Dozens Attend Bend Water Project Open House

October 11, 2011
September 27, 2011 - KTVZ - Dozens Attend Bend Water Project Open House

Information Given, Questions Answered
By Joe Burns, KTVZ.COM
POSTED: 10:47 pm PDT September 27, 2011

BEND, Ore. -- An open house was held for community members Tuesday night at the Bend City Council chambers to discuss the city's controversial, $70 million Surface Water Improvement Project.

For two hours, community members were able to talk to the project team, ask questions and share any concerns they have.

There has been some differences of opinion on what's happened so far, including the council's approval of a $4 million steel pipe purchase last week.

City officials recommended buying the pipe now, saying it will save millions, but critics of the project who want the city to pull all its water from wells, instead of a split with the Bridge Creek tributary of Tumalo Creek, claim it's a potentially costly gamble.

City Engineer Tom Hickmann says he knows not everyone is an agreement with the project, but the city has done a lot of work to study this issue.

"We have brought in multiple engineers, some paid and unpaid, that they are the experts in this field, and have looked at this and looked at conclusion that other engineering firms have come to, and they have agreed with that conclusion," Hickmann said.

Hickmann says the open house was a great way to educate, and a great opportunity to provide the public with information on such a hot topic.

Also discussed at the open house was the Skyliners Road Improvement Project, which has been scheduled to take place in coordination with the new water pipe installation.

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An aerial view of a body of water.