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County to take public input

Commissioners plan Jan. 27 session on water agreement
by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 1/16/10

   H&N Staff Writer

     Members of the public will have an opportunity to tell Klamath County commissioners what they think of Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.

   A final draft of the water agreement, which seeks to resolve water conf licts in the Basin, was released last week. County commissioners initially said they would seek answers from those who worked on it and not seek public input.

   But now Commissioner John Elliott plans to propose that the board offer a public comment session Jan. 27 (6 p.m.) at the Klamath County Fairgrounds (Building 2). Commissioners will officially schedule the meeting Tuesday.

   “There needed to be that opportunity for folks to express their opinion,” he said. “Hopefully, by that point, they’ll have read it.”

   The release of the final version of the water agreement opened up a 30 -day public review period. Commissioners must support or reject the restoration agreement by Feb. 9.

   Feb. 8 session

   Commissioners initially said they would hold a public meeting on Feb. 8 to ask stakeholders questions, but said there wouldn’t be time to take public comments.

   Elliott said he decided such a meeting was necessary. He announced his intent Thursday during a meeting of the Klamath County Republican Central Committee.

   Tom Mallams, an irrigator off the Klamath Reclamation Project and president of the Klamath Off Project Water Users, was at that meeting and said he was pleasantly surprised at the announcement.

   “If they weren’t willing to do one, we were going to do one,” he said.


   Commissioner Cheryl Hukill said the board reconsidered its original decision after people commented on the restoration agreement during a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

   People asked good questions, and Hukill said a similar public forum would be of use to those who didn’t make it to the town hall.
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