local | Water | News

Future of Mirror Pond Dam Remains Murky

OPB | July 19, 2013 4:02 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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The utility that owns the century-old dam that creates Bend’s iconic Mirror Pond says it still hasn’t made any decisions about it’s long-term plans of the dam.

Bend's Mirror Pond in early autumn.

Bend's Mirror Pond in early autumn.

Michael Clapp / OPB

Dam removal is one option city leaders are considering as they try to address decades of sediment build-up in the river.

The ultimate decision on whether to remove the dam will fall to its owner, PacifiCorp.

The utility had hoped a recent non-scientific survey would provide some direction but residents appear to be split on the question.

Spokesman Bob Gravely while still in operation, it’s only a matter of time before a major upgrade makes it no longer cost effective.  He says at that point, the dam could be removed or a transfer of ownership might be possible.

“So I think there’s ways to pursue this on any number of fronts, but it could go any different direction.  So it’s been our hope that we would have a sense of what the community wants before going too far down any of those paths,” said Gravely.

Last week, Bend’s city council and local parks district formed a committee to move toward preferred alternative.

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