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Chamber endorses Cogentrix project


   The Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously at their Dec. 14 meeting to endorse Cogentrix's Grizzly Power Project.
   The board lent its approval to the project after more than a year and a half of review by the chamber and its staff as to the merits of such a project and whether such a plant should be built in Jefferson County.
   "We feel confident that the Grizzly project will benefit the citizens of the county while meeting all environmental and regulatory requirements of the state," said Wayne Fording, chamber president. "We will continue to work with Cogentrix as well as community interests to monitor and review issues and concerns as the site certificate process goes forward."
   In reaching a decision, board members said they were consistent with the chamber's mission statement, which is "to enhance the economic vitality and livability of our culturally diverse communities." Board members believed that the economic impact of the proposed plant would be substantial for the county, while the impacts on resources and the environment are minimal.
   "We think the plant can be a win-win situation for us and Central Oregon," Fording said.
   The Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has 300 members and represents Jefferson County's seven communities.