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July 12, 2024
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Klamath Basin News & Weather, Monday, April 1st – Spring Showers For The Week

Contributions from Paul Hanson at Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS 1450AM / 102.5FM and The Herald & News

Monday, April 1, 2019


Rain much of the day. High near 55.  Overnight, more rain and showers, low of 38.

Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. High near 53.

A 20 percent chance of showers before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 55.

A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 50.

Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50.

A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51.

See Road Camera Views
Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiwy 97 at Chemult   
Hiwy 140 at  Bly       
Hiwy 97 at GreenSprings Dr.            
Hiway 97 at LaPine


Concerns And Discussion Continue on Four Dams Removal

Klamath County Commissioners entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to address local construction and road and traffic concerns with KRRC’s proposal to remove four Klamath River dams.

The document is a “good faith” commitment for KRRC to honor commissioners’ local concerns regarding the dam removal project, which is still awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The MOU is not legally binding. KRRC Director of Communications Matt Cox said KRRC will stick to it.

To be sure, the agreement is not an indicator of commissioners’ personal or board support of KRRC. Local and state politicians have no power over the future of the potential dam project. Commissioners have said the MOU would bring important local perspective to the project that might otherwise be left out.

KRRC is angling to remove four dams owned by PacifiCorp — one in Klamath County, the JC Boyle, and three in Northern California, Copco No. 1 and 2 and the Iron Gate.

Cox did not have a timeline for when KRRC expects FERC to approve the decision. He said KRRC is also talking with commissioners in Siskiyou County, California, where three of the four dams proposed for removal are located. Cox said KRRC had not yet entered into an MOU with Siskiyou County, but hoped to soon.

He said KRRC will announce the selection of a dam removal design/build contractor in April. KRRC cannot yet estimate how long the demolition could take.

KRRC estimates the project would cost $398 million, Cox said, with a $70 million contingency.

“KRRC is eager to complete the project for the benefits it will have to the river, fish, Klamath Basin and economy,” Cox said.

In the MOU, which commissioners signed March 26 after months of negotiation, KRRC agreed to a host of commitments to keep the JC Boyle site safe and workable before, during and after construction.

KRRC will complete road, traffic and erosion control studies prior to construction and share findings its with the county, the MOU said.

KRRC agreed to monitor the Topsy Grade Road Culvert throughout construction for erosion, sediment and debris. KRRC will also implement traffic control measures to keep travel efficient and safe throughout construction.

The group agreed to make road and infrastructure repairs as necessary, and complete a final road condition report to share with the county after the project is finished. KRRC agreed to pay the county for any necessary tail-end repairs.

Cox said the MOU was a FERC requirement to ensure KRRC was being a “good neighbor” to local communities affected by dam removal.

“KRRC will leave Klamath County and its infrastructure in at least as good of condition before the dam removal,” Cox said.

KRRC has also touted the removal project as a local job generator and economy stimulator.

Cox said about 400 jobs would be created for the removal project, and KRRC plans to prioritize hiring locally.

Heather Tramp, director of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was interested in filling as many potential new jobs and local contract opportunities with Klamath community members.

Cannabis Sales Begin In Klamath Falls This Week

A Better Way Medicinal Alternatives in Klamath Falls opened Friday and this will be the first full week of it in operation.  The owner is Ed Medina Jr.

A Better Way became the first official store to legally sell recreational marijuana within Klamath Falls city limits, a result of a voter-passed measure in November 2018.

Recreational sales are illegal in Klamath County, though another shop — Green Knottz — opened within Chiloquin city limits last month.

Medina said he continued to put in 12- to 14-hour shifts as the store prepares to stock up and spark up a new industry. His store’s official grand opening is today (Monday.)

Fifty-four percent of voters approved local measure 18-112 last November following a petition to get it on the local ballot with more than 1,800 signatures.

The new law, which took effect this year, allows for recreational marijuana sales within city limits, in addition to a 3 percent tax from the city and formation of a cannabis advisory committee.

Medina, who also sits on the committee, said progress with new rules and regulations to jump-start the area’s pot industry continue to gain traction. He also said that Klamath Falls City Council could review and approve these new rules as soon as May.

As it stands, he and others estimate that the city could bring in between $150,000-$350,000 in additional tax revenue depending on how many stores open.

Medina says hundreds of vendors have already contacted him about selling in his own store, so the word is out.

“They’re bringing Portland dollars to Klamath, which is rare, instead of the other way around,” Medina said. “We would be selling products in Medford or up the I-5 corridor and those dollars would come back to Klamath.”

Medina has already hired seven full and part time workers.

Clerks also check everyone’s ID in the main lobby, and again at the time of purchase.

“We’ve got this locked down,” he said. “Kids are not going to be purchasing in here. We’re making sure that the products that are sold here are going into the hands of adults.”

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