Last night, a packed house, many urging the Bend City Council to vote against moving forward with the Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP) unless there will be a re-evaluation. Some of Bend's Community leaders and former Mayors spoke passionately about the project. Business owner, Ed Barbeau says they want the Councilors to stick with a new plan to reduce costs. "Stick with your plan to reassess this project. You said this in the media that you're going to look at different aspects. You're going to eliminate some of the more costly aspects of this project. I want you to be sincere in this. As you've noticed, we've got a whole room of people here, and we've got a room outside, and all of them would like to speak to you about the project. I have never seen this kind of activity for a project and I don't think you have either." There were a number of business leaders who spoke out in support of the resolution, saying changing the plan would be short sighted, and the current plan is a good long-range plan.
The Council voted to pass the resolution with one provision, voiced by Councilor Tom Greene: "So could you do the hydro study next month, with somebody giving us some reworked numbers to say whether it pencils or not. And then when we know from the state, where we are, we day ok, now we know a time line, our options or, if we're forced to do treatment, we're forced to do UV or membrane and we re-look at the numbers on those and pros and cons of both options." Greene said we was more comfortable with additional study and allowing for more public input and most Councilors agreed. The resolution passes with Councilor Jim Clinton dissenting.
Before the vote; several Councilors spoke out about how emotional this project is, and they appreciated the many voices raised, but they had confidence in their staff's report.