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KRRC decision reversed

Commissioners: document provides "a seat at the table"

Klamath County commissioners on Wednesday delayed signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, reversing a Tuesday split vote decision to move forward with the MOU.

The MOU has no bearing on whether a Klamath River dam removal project will receive federal approval. KRRC and commissioners have met at least three times since November to address local concerns about the project through the MOU, and commissioners Kelley Minty Morris and Derrick DeGroot were ready Wednesday to sign the document.

While Morris and DeGroot said signing did not equate to support for dam removal, it was simply a pragmatic maneuver to have more say in the project, Donnie Boyd said he still didn’t feel it was fair.

Not an endorsement

Morris stressed the importance of an MOU not coming across as an endorsement of KRRC’s plan to remove four Klamath River dams owned by PacifiCorp: J.C. Boyle in Oregon, and Copco 1 and 2, and Iron Gate in California.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate because this board has been very neutral on that issue,” Morris said.

DeGroot agreed. He said that while the county was on record opposing dam removal, he felt it was important for commissioners to do everything in their power to make KRRC take Klamath County’s concerns into account, which include nearby road upkeep and potential local landfill creation.

“Ultimately, the decision of whether or not these dams get removed is not a local decision,” DeGroot said. “But if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

Boyd said he was still uncomfortable with the “arrogance” he perceived KRRC to have around the whole project. He thought it was inappropriate for a private company to have so much sway over what happens in Klamath County.

“This isn’t the way the United States of America is supposed to run,” he said.

Commissioners will discuss the MOU again on March 27.



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              Page Updated: Monday March 18, 2019 02:18 AM  Pacific

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