Update: Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross says a delegation made up of state lawmakers and city officials will meet with Governor Brown very shortly to make their case that design funding for the new Big Creek Dam should not be interrupted.
Earlier, Governor Brown said she intends to veto a $4 million appropriation to pay for planning, permitting and engineering designs to replace the Big Creek dams. Governor Brown believes even a new dam would likely fail during a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Governor Brown proposed $2 Million to investigate the survivability of such dams but legislators let the bill die.
In the meantime, Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross says a new dam, at a better downstream location, would survive just about anything mother nature can throw at it. Gross admitted the new dam could be damaged by a Cascadia Subduction Zone shaker but it would hold and then be repaired, according to Gross. He says local state lawmakers are trying to make that known to Governor Brown.
Gross says to be left with no dam replacement would severely strain central coast residents who, in the event of a big earthquake, would instantly not have fresh water to drink. He says he’s confident Senator Arnie Roblan and State Representative David Gomberg are making good points. But of course, it’s them versus the Governor’s staff which has turned thumbs down on any further work on the Big Creek project. Governor Brown adds that there are other dams in Oregon in need of repairs and/or replacing.
But again, a delegation from Lincoln County along with State Representative David Gomberg and State Senator Arnie Roblan are scheduled to meet with Governor Brown for a face to face attempt to save the Big Creek Dam project before an August 9th legislative deadline.