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Blue Heron property, something we can all enjoy

I appreciate the recent decision by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to pursue the purchase of the Blue Heron property.

I want to thank the Water Environment Services (WES) planners for explaining the county's goals with this purchase.

Furthermore, I want the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to know that many of us in West Linn are listening and aware of their effort to come up with a creative, cost-effective solution to our future water treatment needs while helping West Linn preserve the blue lagoon area for public use.

It was during my discussion with WES planners that I learned they are particularly interested in the West Linn lagoon portion of the Blue Heron property. 

They informed me that their comparative research confirmed that other options for increasing the areas' future water treatment capability were prohibitive compared to the purchase of the Blue Heron property.

The lagoon portion of the property - located in West Linn - is closer than other alternatives to the water treatment plant across the river and the infrastructure that is already in place (and) will help lower the eventual costs of expanding our water treatment capacity in this area.

WES determined that the water treated at the Clackamas plant can run in pipes under the river to the lagoons and over that distance, (and) will be cooled enough to allow outflow to the river. The infrastructure for this will all be underground, while the majority of the lagoons can be mitigated for wetland preserve, trail, park and possibly more.

Future discussion about what would go there will be important for West Linn and Willamette residents.

This is a long-term plan; there will be many layers to this process. The bottom line is that the county is very willing to help make the surface of the lagoon area into something we can all enjoy.

Elizabeth Smolens is a West Linn resident.