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Klamath Water Users Association executive director says new negotiations may be detrimental

By Ty Beaver, Herald and News 2/6/08

   A proponent of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement says reopening negotiations to meet demands of a small group of irrigators could be problematic.
   Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said Wednesday his group is willing to address concerns, but if talks are reopened it could be detrimental to irrigators.
   “It’s a double-edged sword if we open things up,” Addington said, who participated in settlement talks.
   His comments were in response to a letter signed by nine irrigators demanding stakeholders return to the negotiation table and amend the agreement. Their demands included more water assurances, removal of financial support for a Klamath Tribes’ land purchase and funding to a guaranteed 3-cent per kilowatthour power rate.
   Addington said some of the demands would be difficult to achieve. For example, stakeholders were unable to find revenue to reduce power costs for irrigators, and the agreement cannot alter requirements of federal legislation when it comes to river and lake levels for fish.
   Agreement released Jan. 15
   Stakeholders released the agreement Jan. 15 after two-and-a-half years of development. If approved, it would allocate water in the Klamath River watershed between irrigators, tribes, fishermen and conservationists. It hinges on an agreement from PacifiCorp to remove four hydroelectric dams.
   Addington said other groups on the lower end of the Klamath River also weren’t completely pleased with portions of the agreement. Going back to the table could lead to them making demands, some that could Negotiations are heating up between Klamath Falls City Schools officials and a San Francisco developer who apparently plans to bring a Lowe’s home improvement store to Klamath Falls.
   A zone change for 20.6 acres owned by the school district was approved Monday by the Klamath Falls City Council. The change from public facility to general commercial will be official after a 21-day comment period.
   Fred Meyer, Shasta Way, Avalon Street and the school district administrative offices border the parcel.
   Joe Slaughter, associate planner in the city Planning Department, declined to confirm that Lowe’s is the likely tenant.
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