Pipeline Hearing Set for May

At the Port Orford City Council meeting on April 21, it was announced that a legislative hearing will be held, probably on May 9, at which the council will hear testimony and deliberate on supplying effluent to the golf course. We got the signal that only one issue will be discussed — whether Port Orford is willing to do this. We are likely to hear, again, from Troy Russell/ERPD all about the mechanics of the pipeline, the pump stations, the route, the drilling method, and more. Certainly we’ll hear all about the alleged benefits to the city. Benefits that may or may not be based on anything more real than wishes, hopes, and guesses.

Will we hear about a price for the effluent? Not likely. ERPD, says Russell, doesn’t want to pay for it. Will we hear about housing or commercial development plans they may have in the Urban Growth Boundary? Plans to annex the golf course to the city? Or will questions such as those be ruled out of order? City Counsel Kudlac indicated that first we’ll decide whether or not to supply effluent, and only then will a land use hearing be held. But once the die is cast and ERPD starts building the pipeline, the city may be well and truly stuck with the fallout from the new outfall. That is why we need to ask everything we want to know NOW, and why the City Council must demand to get everything upfront and on paper before giving consent.

What we’ve faced so far is:

  • confusion about permits,
  • lack of information about long-term goals,
  • focusing on the pipeline construction details but ignoring current and future costs to ratepayers,
  • silence about the legality of the conditional use permit for the golf course (it does not include the use of effluent),
  • dodging questions about the effects on Garrison Lake,
  • not factoring in the landfill near the pipeline route,
  • and non-contractual promises, promises, promises.

All these questions and many more MUST be aired thoroughly and answered in full before anyone says another “Yes” on anything to do with Pacific Gales.