To the Editor:
I am concerned about the Wallowa Lake dam improvement proposed by Gov. Brown and to be voted on soon.
I agree with rehabilitating the dam for several reasons such as safety for people and equitable water distribution for irrigators. It has the potential to help many irrigators and store more water. It also has the potential of making the newly formed irrigation district a lot more money.
My concern is that perhaps over $16 million will be provided the irrigation district to get the dam to store more water, which the district will sell. I believe money from water sales would go to the district.
If this is good for the county as a whole, great. However, I don’t think that Oregon taxpayers should have to pay money to help just a local few. If it is a good idea to fund the project, do it as a loan to be paid back with receipts from water sold.
I don’t agree with funding west-side projects with my tax dollars. I also don’t agree with asking the whole state to fund a project that only benefits a few and may provide a profit to a private entity.
Don’t beg the legislature to fund your activities. Agree to a loan and pay it back.
I have contacted Bill Hansel, state senator, and Greg Baretto, state representative, on this and encourage any who agree to do the same. Do we want to help reduce or increase state debt problems?
Joseph T. Zinni