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Dispute Over Vape Cartridge Leads To Bend Assault

BEND, OR -- A disagreement over a marijuana vape cartridge allegedly led to a kidnapping and assault in Bend, early Sunday. According to police, the victim agreed to buy the cartridge from a 16-year-old girl for $30 but only paid $3. The teen told two friends who lured the man to their house where he got in their car.

He told police one suspect hiding in the back seat put him in a chokehold, while another drove them to a nearby neighborhood. After punching the man, a third suspect tried to use his phone to make a $100 bank transfer. After that was unsuccessful, they drove him home, where he gave them $61 in cash.

Two of the suspects allegedly tried to get into his house and eventually left with the victim's phone. Bend Police say much of the incident was captured on a doorbell camera.

Three people now face charges: 18-year-old Dalton Ellis was arrested late Sunday morning on suspicion of Robbery, Criminal Mischief, Burglary and Criminal Conspiracy. She's accused of setting up the meeting with the victim and trying to force her way into his home. Police arrested 37-year-old Rachel Appel Sunday afternoon. She's accused of driving the vehicle, punching the victim, accessing his bank account and also trying to get into his home. She's charged with Kidnapping, Robbery, Burglary, Coercion, Assault, Criminal Conspiracy and Computer Crime. And, 42-year-old Charles Barker was arrested later Sunday afternoon on Kidnapping, Robbery, Strangulation, Criminal Conspiracy and Coercion charges. He's accused of hiding under a blanket then trying to choke the victim.

Deschutes Co. Offers Wildfire Mitigation Grants

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County will receive $90,000 from the Bureau of Land Management to support wildfire risk mitigation projects adjacent to, or within a mile of BLM land.

Through March 31st, property owners can apply for the new Community Fire Assistance Grant to reduce hazardous fuels or create defensible space. County officials expect individual awards to range between $20,000 and $30,000.

Additional information about grant requirements and the application are available online, HERE

Greater Idaho Question On Crook County Ballot

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County could be the next county to officially consider joining Idaho.

“So far, we've gone to voters in 12 counties and we've asked them, do you want your elected leaders to pursue moving your county into the state governance of Idaho? So, Crook County will be our 13th county,” Matt McCaw, Executive Director of the Greater Idaho Movement, tells KBND News voters have a decision to make this May, “What the measure asks is, do you want the Crook County elected leaders to let the state leaders know that Crook County wants to pursue becoming part of the state of Idaho.”

He says the grass-roots effort relies mostly on word of mouth and social media shares rather than a full-blown advertising campaign, “We've been encouraging the Crook County commissioners for the last three years to put an advisory question on the ballot so that the people of Crook County can weigh in on Greater Idaho. And on this idea, if it makes more sense for eastern Oregon to get their state governance from Idaho.”

The measure asks whether the County Court should tell state and federal officials to support continued negotiations on the location of Oregon’s border.

Jefferson County voters approved a similar question in 2020, requiring two meetings a year on the issue.

The next is in Madras on Wednesday.


Bend State Rep. Jason Kropf Discusses Drug Bill

BEND, OR -- We’re learning more about the compromise on a bill to reform Oregon’s Measure 110, crafted by a local lawmaker.

HB 4002 gets another public hearing in the Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response at 5 p.m. Monday. Co-Chair Representative Jason Kropf (D-Bend) says much of its original framework remains, but it now includes re-criminalizing possession and public use of hard drugs, "It’ll be an Unclassified Misdemeanor. What we want is, we’ve heard from law enforcement that they want certain tools when they see people possessing and using drugs in public. They want tools that they can take and confiscate and take those drugs off our streets." He tells KBND News the goal is for officers to help drug users, "Get an immediate handoff into treatment in the behavioral health world, and really treat this different than we treat other crimes. And give people an offramp from being involved in the criminal justice system if they get engaged with local services." He tells KBND News, "I can envision a program where the officer on the street has contact with somebody, seizes those drugs, gets those drugs off the street and then immediately makes the contact that day to somebody working in the treatment world."

Defendants could take part in pre-trial "deflection" or a court-based treatment program, "If you are convicted and the judge places you on probation, we are requiring that the judge not impose any jail time at that point, but place you on probation and direct you to be in treatment," says Rep. Kropf, "If the judge does impose jail time, we are authorizing your probation officer to have you released from jail to be involved in treatment."

Those who refuse or don’t complete treatment could face jail time, "The court has the authority to impose up to 180 days in jail in that situation. But, your probation officer can create a plan for you to be released to go to in-patient treatment, or create a plan for you to be released to go back in the community to participate in out-patient treatment."

The latest draft of HB 4002 also includes steeper penalties for drug dealers who set up shop near a treatment facility, park or homeless camp. And, Kropf says, it restores some funding for drug courts, "We had a family drug court that shut down here in Deschutes County, not too long ago, and I was incredibly disappointed to see that. You’ll see a number of things that create a better treatment system in this state."

While he admits some may not support increased punishment, Kropf believes the new version will get broad support. Last week, Oregon House Republicans issued a statement saying, "We are conceptuatlly aligned, but we still need to review the final draft." Kropf says the final draft wasn't finished until Friday. Monday morning, House Republican Leader Rep. Jeff Helfrich issued the following statement:

"House Republicans stand today where we’ve always stood: On the side of Oregonians who want to end Measure 110. As of today, the proposal before the legislature is far from a perfect solution, but that is unsurprising given that the majority party is beholden to radical pro-drug special interest groups. We need a solution that works for Oregonians, and much can be done to strengthen this proposal with the time remaining in this session. We hope that our Democrat colleagues will prioritize the demands of the people of Oregon and continue negotiating with us to provide the structural reforms needed to truly solve the Measure 110 crisis."

Monday's public hearing will be followed by another work session later this week.


Bend Affordable Housing Fund Distributes $1.3M

BEND, OR -- Bend is doling out more than a million dollars to three affordable housing projects. Mayor Pro Tem Megan Perkins says they’re a mix of rental and homeownership developments. "There’s one that is 59 units, and that’s for Housing Works. That’s the College View apartments that many of you have seen and heard about. That is a rental product. What’s cool about that project is that on the parcel right next to it is a Rooted Homes development, which is an affordable home-ownership project." Perkins tells KBND News, "The other two projects: One is 30 units at Thistle & Nest, and the other is nine units for Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity. Those are for downpayment assistance. What I like about this is that this fund is really working on all angles. It’s working for rental, it’s working for services, sometimes it’s funding homeless services, and it’s also focusing on home-ownership, as well." Thistle & Nest (pictured) is a townhome development in southeast Bend.

The money comes from the city’s affordable housing fund, "It’s ? of 1% for building permits. And it’s actually the first affordable housing fund in the state of Oregon," says Perkins. Since its inception in 2006, Bend’s affordable housing fund has contributed to or created more than a thousand units. 

The Committee tasked with narrowing down the list of possible projects, she says, always receives more applications than funds available. "The two projects they did not recommend for funding, they had not secured a lot of the state and federal funding that you need to make these projects be viable. So, it wasn’t that these were bad projects at all, it’s just that they needed to have that secured funding first. And they encouraged them to reapply."

Councilors will distribute more money to low and moderate-income housing projects May first, through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. 


Local Ranchers Talk Wolf Policy With Rep. Bentz

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Oregon Congressman Cliff Bentz (R) met with local ranchers to discuss wolf management on Thursday in Prineville. He was joined by state and federal officials, including from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, ODFW, and the Oregon Cattlemen's Association.

Paulina rancher Trent Smith told them Oregon is capable of managing wolves, “We don't have a wolf issue. We have a people issue. We have a great management plan in the state of Oregon if we can do it.”

He feels wolves aren’t welcome, but knows they aren’t going away either. “We know that the populace wants to see these animals here. So that needs to be a manageable number that does not pressure our businesses.”

Bentz doesn’t believe Oregon needs federal oversight, “The state of Oregon has a very good wolf management plan. And under that plan, the wolf still exists, there's still a couple of 100 of them roaming about the state of Oregon. And we need to point at that success from the standpoint of the environmental interests. This is what's going to happen in the event that the entire chore protecting this endangered species is delegated to the states.”

Bentz says he wants to keep the dialogue going between government agencies and ranchers to meet increasing challenges with wolves and livestock. Bentz tells KBND News he appreciates ranchers’ resiliency, “It's one of those situations where you're not allowed to help yourself, you have to follow the law and that means you have to work with the type of people who are here today and figure out a way to properly manage this new challenge.”

He’ll use the information gathered this spring when his Water, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Natural Resources subcommittee discusses the Wolf’s status on the Endangered Species list.


Jefferson County Fire Bond Heads To May Ballot

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Fire and EMS is joining the list of taxing districts asking voters to approve more funding this year. Thursday evening, the fire board approved sending a $14.5 million bond to the May ballot. 

Fire Chief Jeff Blake tells KBND News, "This department has not done bond request for capital funding or capital improvements in 23 years. The last one was done in 1998. Those were used to buy the two fire trucks we have now, which are the two fire trucks that are our first responding fire trucks for this community." He says that's several years past when most agencies put an engine on reserve status. 

Blake also wants to remodel the Madras fire hall to accommodate a diverse workforce that’s now between 30% and 50% female, "This station was built in 1989 and it looks big from the outside. A lot of it is apparatus space, where we store all our equipment. We simply don’t have enough showers for our males; we certainly don’t have enough showers for our females, or just facilities and bathrooms." 

Also on the list of needs, "Remodel the Culver fire station, purchase new apparatus; purchase new ambulances because we’re running the wheels off of those things, especially with the consolidation of emergency medical services and the consolidation of the hospital." Chief Blake says his agency does a lot of transports from the Madras hospital to St. Charles Bend, and reimbursements for those rides have declined in recent years. And, according to the Chief, the permanent tax rate of $1.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value does not allow the agency to save money for big-ticket items. 

To help with building improvements, he's also asked the state legislature for $3.4 million in help, "Our total need, that I’m just looking at for the future of our organization over the next 15 years, is probably $17 million." He has a plan B if that ask is rejected. KBND asked if he’s considered a Plan C, if the state funding and bond fail? He answered, "I - I mean, I have. There’s possibly the ability of private financing or it’s grants. But those take a long time."

The request of voters is for 42-cents per $1,000 for the first five years. It would then increase to no more than 83-cents for the second five years. Blake says that would bring his district in line with the tax rates of other similarly sized fire  agencies. 


Bend Schedules Transportation Fee Listening Sessions

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors host two listening sessions next week, to get more public feedback on a proposed transportation fee. The fee would apply to commercial and residential utility bills and is expected to begin after July first, if it’s approved.

A Council work session is scheduled for March sixth and a public hearing is slated for March 20th. The draft code can be found HERE.

Next week’s listening sessions are Monday morning, 9:30 - 11:30, and Thursday, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Both are hybrid and will be held at City Hall. Meeting information is available on the meetings and events calendar at bendoregon.gov.

Bend-La Pine Schools To Add Make-Up Days

BEND, OR -- In a letter to parents Thursday, Bend-La Pine Schools officials announced the year will be extended in June by two days. Adding June 17 and 18 compensates for some of the instructional time lost in January due to a series of winter storms. The district lost a total of three days in January, but two were early-release Wednesdays.

The calendar change does not impact graduation schedules, from June 6-11. The district letter also notes: 

  • Wednesday, June 12, will now be a School Improvement Wednesday (SIW) early-release day.
  • Friday, June 14, will now be a regular full day, instead of early release for the last day of school.
  • Tuesday, June 18, will be early-release (90 minutes, following our SIW schedule) for the new last day of school.

file photo

No Decision Yet On County Short-term Rental Licensing

BEND, OR -- County Commissioners are not ready to require licensing for short-term rentals in unincorporated Deschutes County. They considered either creating a stand-alone business license, or wrap licensing with land-use permitting. 

Community Development Director Peter Gutowsky told commissioners Wednesday it would create extra challenges for his department, “I have real resource limitations and to administer a short-term rental program with or without a land use component still creates demands for my staff to ensure at a minimum fire and life safety is addressed,”

He said there are currently only three code enforcement officers, “We have four positions in our budget right now. We're recruiting for a fourth as we speak. We are very mindful of our budget right now.” There are more than 800 short-term rentals under the county’s jurisdiction.

Licensing would bring revenue into the county and provide health and safety standards.

Chair Patti Adair said she’s not ready for a decision, “At this point in time, people are so being burdened with this tax and that tax and this tax, I'm sure the businesses will look at it as a tax and we're already getting the revenue. I would honestly like to watch it for a couple of months and say, ‘ok, what kind of problems are we really talking about?’.”

Commissioner Phil Chang wants to keep exploring, “We don't have to load it up with requirements that aren't really critical to preserving public health and safety and the peace of the neighborhood. But we're not going to get at those things without having some kind of a program.”

Establishing a business license program could cost the county up to $1-million.

File Photo: Central Oregon Rental Vacation Home

Shevlin Park Rd Closed Due To Gas Leak

BEND, OR -- Contractors installing a new sewer line along Shevlin Park Road struck a gas line, Thursday morning. The road is closed in both directions, between the Mount Washington roundabout and Northwest Crossing. Bend Fire is on scene and asks drivers to avoid the area. 

Cascade Natural Gas confirms it's a 4" line, and estimates one to two hours before the leak is stopped. According to Bend Fire, the break is a distance from buildings and homes, and does not pose an immediate threat. However, there is a detectable gas odor in the area, and people living in the area are encouraged to keep doors and windows closed. No evacautaions have been ordered. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Madras Attempts Crackdown On Abandoned Shopping Carts

MADRAS, OR -- The city of Madras has a shopping cart problem, "Between October and December of 2023, we collected over 204 shopping carts throughout the community." Madras Community Development Director Nick Snead says those carts are taken from stores around the city. "There were over 50 shopping carts down in Willow Creek in this homeless camp," he tells KBND News, "They would just put trash in there, and in some cases, they were actually being used for - call it a cooking grate. They were literally creating a fire underneath the shopping cart, and using the bottom of the cart that you’d normally put your groceries in, and using that as a cooking grate." Snead says the Madras Safeway later transitioned to plastic carts to deter this practice. 

Talks with stores about preventing cart theft have not resulted in improvements. Snead says he's seen people walk into the Safeway parking lot, take a cart or two and roll it down the street without ever entering the store. Safeway was asked to consider using carts that lock up when taken off property. But he says the city was told, "'The electronics to lock the wheels was requested but it wasn’t in the budget for this year,' and hopefully they could get that technology instituted next year." Snead says Madras can’t wait that long. 

He’s invited the stores to an open house next week to discuss proposed regulations. A draft of the proposed regulation obtained by KBND News says stores would be required to "Post signs in sufficient number to give notice to members of the public entering onto or leaving the business premises that unauthorized appropriation of a shopping cart is a crime." The sign would also provide a local phone number people could call to report abandoned carts. The city would also be allowed to hold carts until the owner pays a $50 fine. Violating the code would result in a $100 penalty. 

"We think that regulating the carts may be a solution, but that’s really the purpose of the open house for next week," says Snead, "One of the things we want to do at this open house is explain the problem, explain one solution and ask our retailers, ‘Does this make sense to you?’ Because, we have a problem. It’s affecting our community." He adds, "We want to ask the retailers at the open house, ‘what do you think is a solution? If these regulations aren’t wanted, how do you think we can solve this?’ And the intention would be to develop consensus."

Monday’s meeting is open to the public. It starts at 2 p.m. at City Hall. 


RPD Seeks Help Solving Cold Case Murder

REDMOND, OR -- Police are asking for help solving a homicide that occurred more than two years ago in Redmond. Authorities initially believed 26-year-old Dustin Hilsendager was killed in a car crash on Canal Boulevard, near Umatilla Avenue, December 30th of 2021.

Redmond Police Lt. Eric Beckwith tells KBND News detectives later learned Hilsendager was shot.

Despite ongoing efforts by Redmond PD and the Tri-County Major Incident Team, there are no suspects.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Sgt. Tyler Kirk at 541-504-3488, reference RPD case #2021-33016.

Potential Deschutes Co. Landfill Sites Discussed

BEND, OR -- Two areas east of Bend remain under consideration for the next Deschutes County Landfill, after the Knott Landfill reaches capacity in 2029.

The Solid Waste Advisory Committee heard public comment Tuesday on the Moon Pit mine, near the Badlands Wilderness, and a spot in the Millican Valley, known as Roth East.

Craig Miller, with the Oregon Natural Desert Association, has concerns about both, “You'll be setting precedent by citing a landfill right on the boundary of the wilderness area. If you go that direction. On the other hand, I believe the Roth East is even worse in terms of wildlife. I think it's such an important corridor that it's very likely that those three Sage Grouse groups will blank out if the site is located at Roth East.”

“I've also hiked around the badlands quite a few times and around the Moon Pit area and the dry river canyon. I've never seen the birds in those areas,” said Steve Wright who lives in the Millican Valley. He worries about traffic safety, as well, “The highway shoulders are very narrow, I believe from the Horse Ridge Summit all the way towards Millican, Brothers, Hampton.”

Roth East would cost less to develop at $36-million comparted to an estimated $50-million to $64-million for Moon Pit, but would cost  $8.4-million per year to operate, about $800-thousand more than Moon Pit, according to consultant estimates.

The committee will meet in March and April, allowing for more public comment, before sending a recommendation to county commissioners, who could make a decision by the end of June.

Photo: Moon Pit Top Location, Roth East Lower Right

Barricaded Woman Surrenders To Redmond Police

REDMOND, OR -- A woman barricaded herself in a vehicle outside the Shepherd’s House Redmond shelter Tuesday morning, prompting a response by the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team (CERT).

According to Redmond Police, around 6 a.m., the 49-year-old tried to run down several people in the parking lot and threatened to assault others with a hammer.

Officers deployed STOP sticks to prevent her from driving away, but she then locked herself in the car. CERT negotiators responded, but were unable to convince her to get out of the vehicle. She eventually surrendered after being pepper sprayed.

The woman was taken to jail on charges of Assault, Attempted Assault, Reckless Driving, Elude and Resisting Arrest.

Redmond Man Killed In Icy Jefferson County Crash

CULVER, OR -- A 57-year-old Redmond man was killed in a five-vehicle pile-up in Jefferson County, early Monday. According to State Police, two semis were southbound on Highway 97 near Culver when one rear-ended the other. The road was icy, and the front truck slid sideways into oncoming traffic, striking two northbound pickups. An SUV also collided with the wreckage.

The drivers of the semis, SUV and one pickup were unhurt. But the fifth driver, Felipe Gamboa-Lupercio, and his front passenger were taken to the hospital. Gamboa-Lupercio's backseat passenger, Jose Refugio Gamboa-Lupercio, was declared dead at the scene.

The crash occurred at about 4:15 a.m. Traffic on Highway 97 was impacted for about five hours. Investigators say speed and road conditions were primary factors in the incident.

COCC Accepting Housing Applications

BEND, OR -- Amid the ongoing rental housing shortage in Bend, Central Oregon Community College is now accepting applications for its residence hall. COCC Director of Student Life Andrew Davis says with increasing rental rates around town, some students find it’s cheaper to live on campus, "For our students that live all year in a double year, they’re going to pay - depending on meal plan - somewhere between $10,000 -12,000. And to be able to do that for nine months of the year is pretty reasonable." That's much less than the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bend. 

Applications for Wickiup Hall for the fall opened earlier this month, "We actually have taken in almost 100 apps in the first two weeks, which is really exciting," says Davis, "I think people are eager to get in and get the process done. It’s a multi-step process. We have to help people make sure they understand all the details that go with that: what it’s going to cost them, the policies and expectations, what kind of room they’re looking for, match them with roommates."

He tells KBND News, "In most years, we end up taking in somewhere around 500 applications for 300 beds. Most of the time, we can accommodate. There’s people who apply and then decide to go somewhere else. We encourage anyone who reaches out to us to apply early so you can get all those details ironed out. It’s one less thing to worry about when you get to September." 

Davis says help is also available through the nonprofit Thrive Central Oregon, "If students are struggling finding housing, they can make an appointment with Thrive. And they can do that just by emailing Thrive@COCC.edu."

It’s not unusual for a student to stay in the dorm for several years, especially given the shortage of rental housing around Bend, "As long as a student is enrolled in at least 12 credits, no matter how long their educational path is," says Davis, "If they’re earning multiple credentials and they want to keep living with us, we keep them."


Golf Cart Fleet Focus Of Early Campaign For Deschutes Co. Sheriff

BEND, OR -- The purchase of a fleet of golf carts has taken center stage in the campaign for Deschutes County Sheriff.

Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp talked with the Redmond Kiwanis earlier this month about what he considers runaway spending, "Golf carts have been a hot topic at my office for the last six months. I don’t have an explanation as to what we’re doing with five golf carts." He went on to say, "I know that we use one at the fair. All five of them are now sitting in a container in a lot somewhere. I don’t know why we bought those." Answering questions about the agency's budget, he told the group, "You turn around and buy five golf carts and slurpee machine with taxpayer money, I can’t justify - I can’t explain that. The big thing is going to be getting our spending back in line. We need to stop spending because we see shiny things." Click HERE to watch Vander Kamp's full presentation. 

Captain William Bailey tells KBND News he didn’t order the golf carts, but believes they’re a reasonable investment for the agency now in charge of security at the fairgrounds, "The fair is growing; the fairgrounds and the use of the fair is growing. Not only do we have the fair, we have the music festival this past summer. There was another festival that was there this last summer. It’s getting bigger. They’re going to be adding more events, more people."

DCSO borrowed two golf carts its first year of fair security, in 2022. But Bailey says they didn’t work very well, so the agency bought two of its own for ‘23. "Having a tool to get around in 100-degree heat with a little bit of sunbreak. It was important to give the deputies the tools they needed. And the deputies were very appreciative that they had those tools to patrol the fairgrounds." He says they've since been used at the Sisters Quilt Show and La Pine Frontier Days. 

Three more are on their way to expand the fleet for 2024, due to the growing fairgrounds and increased number of events, according to Bailey. All five were purchased used by the Automotive section, which Bailey does not oversee; he says he did not have any involvement in securing the fleet. The cost of the second batch of three carts is about half the cost of the first two and Bailey hopes the retrofitting for deputy-use will also be less expensive. He says those final three have not yet been delivered. 

Sgt. Vander Kamp also took issue with an industrial slushie machine, which Bailey says is used at local events and to reward student achievement, "The most requested reward is slushies with the deputy sheriffs. And that’s awesome. That’s what we should want from our law enforcement. We should want them engaged and connected with the community." As Captain of the Patrol Division, Bailey says he approved that purchase after another deputy proposed the idea as a way to engage with the community. "It’s unfortunate that a slushie machine and a golf cart has become the center of an election for Sheriff," says Bailey, "But in some point, I respect that the community has questions about the tools that we’re utilizing to do our job because it is their money that we’re spending."

Both candidates take part in their first joint forum Monday, in Sunriver. 

Image: (left) Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp speaks to the Redmond Kiwanis Club on Feb. 7, 2024. (right) Capt. William Bailey on patrol during the 2023 Deschutes County Fair, courtesy DCSO's Instagram.

BLS Mulls Levy For May Election

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools is considering a five-year local option levy for the May ballot. “It would bring in approximately $23-million in its first year to support the programs that our community says that they want,” School Board chair Melissa Barnes - Dholakia says a survey taken last year identified issues the community wants addressed. “They want to see more investment in career and technical education. Other things include maintaining class sizes, support for our struggling students, and then they also want to have robust course offerings,” she tells KBND News the proposed tax is $1 per thousand dollars of assessed value, “This has really been a board directed investigation and exercise. And I think what we're finding from our public is that the public is supportive at that rate.”

The board and administration have researched the levy for a year. “Really in Bend- La Pine schools, what we've heard is that our community wants more from its schools and unfortunately the state doesn't fund it,” she says, adding they’re optimistic the levy, which is separate from the current bond paying for building construction and maintenance, will pass, “Our public is really invested in making sure that all of our students leave our schools with a pathway for their future.”  The board could decide at their February 27th meeting to put the levy on this May’s ballot.


New Deschutes Co. Landfill Location In Homestretch

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County is still zeroing in on a location for a new landfill as Knott Landfill is expected to reach capacity in five years. The two final potential locations will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday, February 20th.

“Both have pluses and minuses still at this point,” Solid Waste Director Tim Brownell says both sites east of Bend present challenges and opportunities, “What we're looking at is over the next three years, there are land use review processes as well as a state permitting process with the Department of Environmental Quality. So, it's not a fast process and there will be many public hearings.”.

After an 18-month search, the Solid Waste Advisory Committee is near the finish line to select a location. “We're going to do an in-depth review at that meeting of all the different elements that were researched on the two sites. Then in the March meeting, we'll go into a lot of conversation answering questions both from the public and the SWAC members. We wanted to move through this committee by the end of April and then it'll take two months or so for the board of county commissioners to do their review, hold their public hearings and for them to make a selection, ideally by the end of June.” He tells KBND News one site would be cheaper to build but more expensive to operate, and the other, vice versa.

Estimates put the cost between $36-million and $64-million to develop, and another $8-million to $9-million to maintain.


Photo: Knott Landfill

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