BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors must decide whether the city should chip in money to dredge Mirror Pond. They'll host a public listening session Monday to get feedback on what the community wants. City Manager Eric King says dealing with silt build-up is a controversial issue made more complicated by the city’s lack of control over the iconic downtown pond, "This is not city right of way, it’s not a road or anything the city has any jurisdiction over. There’s been a request to have the city contribute to a dredging project – financially contribute. So, Council has been pondering that. This listening session, I think, will help determine what direction the Council will go in."
King says the city would have to work with others, like Pacific-Corp, which owns the dam that forms the pond, and the Parks District. "It would be just more of a partnership to help provide a solution to Mirror Pond, that’s kind of how we see it. We don’t have a city department that does dredging or siltation removal or any kind of river restoration; that’s just not what we do." There is precedent for such a project, "In 1984, the pond was dredged and there was a partnership. Back then, there was a significant contribution from the federal government," King tells KBND News. "Part of that storage and release of water that creates erosion and then the siltation build-up is done by the Bureau of Reclamation; the federal government. They kicked in money and then the city, Parks District, property owners all came together to get it dredged."
Monday’s listening session will start with a Q & A session on topics like the history of the problem, long term plans for the Mirror Pond Dam and environmental impacts. A full agenda is available at the city's website, HERE. It begins at 5 p.m., at the County Services building (1300 NW Wall Street).