>The nine-member club and maintenance board rarely takes public positions, but unanimously votes to oppose the proposed power plant
News Editor
   Jan.30, 2002 -- The Crooked River Ranch association's board of directors took a bold step last week to announce that they oppose Cogentrix's Grizzly Power Project.
   The board issued both a public statement and a letter to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners stating, "The Board feels that the negative impacts to the environment and the negative impact to health, safety and welfare of our members is far greater than any benefit that may be derived from allowing the plant."
   Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association President Vern Bowers said the board rarely takes a position on heated issues. But, he said, Ranch residents are discouraged that public opinion doesn't appear to be factoring into the siting process. He said state officials should listen to the desires county residents.
   "We did a survey of people attending our last board meeting and 97 percent of them said they were against the plant," Bowers said. "One of the biggest issues is that this is not going to come to a vote of the people.
   "This is a huge impact, it's not just a `Should we put an adult bookstore on the corner of the street' issue. That's why the board thought we should take a position."
   Crooked River Ranch has approximately 4,500 residents. The ranch has a golf course, RV Park, swimming pool, sports facilities, senior center and equestrian center.
   The board voted unanimously, 9-0, to publicly oppose the North Carolina-based power company's proposal.
   Bowers said the natural gas-fired, steam-generating power plant was "at odds" with Central Oregon's pristine environment, and listed common concerns held by opponents of the 980-megawatt power project: water use, emissions, labor and aesthetic issues.
   A specific concern of Crooked River Ranch residents, Bowers said, is noise that could come from the power plant's well field, located on the rim across the Crooked River Canyon from the Ranch.
   "The noise from their test pump alone -- the sound carries wonderfully," Bowers said. "The entire community here will be subject to the noise of their wells."
   Bowers said his opinion, and the board's position as well, reflected an overwhelming majority of Ranch residents.
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