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County silence on Cob criticized
Klamath County Commissioners were blasted by a
citizen in a public meeting Tuesday for missing a
series of state deadlines to comment on the Cob
"You missed all the deadlines, took no
responsibility, didn't sign the letter yourself,
had (former planning department manager) Carl
Shuck draft it the night before he left on
vacation and didn't put it on county
commissioners' letterhead," Brock said.
Switzer has told the opponents of the Cob Energy
Facility over and over again that the county has
no say in the state's decision to site the power
Cathy Van Horn, the Oregon Department of Energy
analyst who has worked as a liaison between
Oregon's Energy Facility Siting Council, the power
plant applicant and relevant state agencies, said
city or county agencies are usually more involved
in the state's siting process.
Van Horn said commissioners missed the date to
state any specific county rules that might apply
to the siting council. She added that the letter
from the planning director was received at a later
time, although the letter simply stated that the
county had no issues with the plant.
Missing the deadline was largely irrelevant,
Switzer said, because the state board used many of
the county's rules anyway.
Van Horn said the county still had the ability to
act as a special advisory board to the siting
council. However, because the county commissioners
did not raise any current issues with the project,
they were not included as a party in the contested
case hearing, which is expected to be resolved in
"Typically, we see a county or local jurisdiction
come forward asking for certain types of
conditions they'd like to see put in place," she
Switzer also said that as a result of
conversations with Trotta, the facility went from
a water-cooled plant to an air-cooled plant. Also,
he said Trotta had discussed an agreement with
county public works Director Stan Strickland to
put up half a million dollars for any road repair
from project construction. The road deal has not
been finalized by the county at this point.
"The board of commissioners absolutely abdicated their responsibility as a special adviser to the Energy Facility Siting Council," he said. "I don't consider what was being done behind the scenes as a substitute for the siting process."
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