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Deschutes County commissioners hold hearing next week on petition to create Terrebonne sewer district

(Update: Adding video, comments from Terrebonne Sewer Advisory Group Member, Terrebonne resident)

TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County commissioners hold a hearing next Wednesday to consider a petition to form a Terrebonne sewer district that supporters say is needed to deal with the problem of failing septic systems.

Terrebonne Sewer Advisory Group member Peter Vernon gathered 100 petition signatures to begin the process after a 2020 sewer feasibility study for the area.

It's the next step in a years-long effort by some residents to bring a sewer system to areas where septic tanks are failing.

The county Assessor's Office and county clerk certified the petition and the Community Development Department reviewed it. After taking testimony on the proposal, county commissioners can accept the petition and set the date for a final hearing.

Vernon said Friday, "We're going to present what has happened really over the past 4 1/2 years, in terms of getting the ball rolling on this whole project."

And how it can get put on ballots, so people can vote on how to manage the community's wastewater.

Parker Vernon explained that cost is hard to pin down at this stage.

"Essentially, if we get the board together we can apply for grant funding. Then we have a better idea of where our costs are going to fall," he said.

An engineer consultant for the sewer advisory group said once it's formed, the sanitary district will be responsible for the design, funding and construction of the future wastewater system.

I also spoke Friday to Vernon's father, who has experienced on-and-off issues with his septic system.

Guy Vernon is an advisory group Member and owns the Rustic Ranch Mobile Home Park.

He said he had issues with septic, and the mobile park would be forced to close if the system fails. The one they have now is more than 30 years old.

He added that a sewer system is very much needed, as he would like to expand the mobile home park. Until they get the sewer, the expansion won't happen.

A Terrebonne resident said he supports the plans.

"It's just Terrebonne growing as a community," James Derrick said. "I think it's long overdue."

As for a timeline, Parker Vernon said they don't have a definitive time for a system to come on-line. Tentative plans point to three to five years before everything is fully finished and operational.

They will be working directly with the City of Redmond as their Wetlands sanitation project would be the connection point for Terrebonne. As well as working with ODOT for infrastructure as they're redoing the highway in Terrebonne.

For the public hearing Parker Vernon said he's not sure if it will be packed, but hopes they see quality support and people in favor of this project.

    

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County
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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.

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