BEND, OR -- Five experts on Mirror Pond will take part in a public forum Tuesday night, to help explain the issues surrounding the Bend icon. Organizer Foster Fell believes locals should get informed, especially when they'll be the ones footing the bill to fix the pond, "There will be, very soon, votes in both the Bend City Council and the Bend Parks District, whether or not to approve as much as $3.3 million to subsidize a dredging operation in Mirror Pond." He tells KBND News, "It's a very expensive proposition for both City government and the Parks District, and there's also some questions raised as to whether or not it's really even needed at all for environmental reasons."
Fell says, "There's some thought that the river's doing just fine on its own, and even if it's not dredged, the river will continue to flow, and it will actually build up a very nice wetland, similar to the Colorado Street dam." He says those varying viewpoints and drawn-out community conversation prompted him to organize Tuesday's event, "It's a very important issue, and we don't seem to ever come to a resolution of it. So, we've really never had an open Town hall yet on the Mirror Pond issues, so I thought this would be a great chance to talk about it."
The forum begins at 6:30 at the Environmental Center in downtown Bend. "We have a panel of five community members, speaking from various points of view, some of them favor preservation of the pond, some of them feel that it would be better to have an open, free-flowing river at Mirror Pond." The audience will be allowed to express their own opinions and ask questions of the panel, made up of a City Councilor, a biologist, a former State Senator, a Deschutes River activist, and a hydro-geologist.