Over the past several months progress has been made on Capitol Lake’s estuary/lake issue even if it is just getting a better understanding of the barriers to a decision. A restored estuary will deposit silt so dredging will be required in lower Budd Inlet.
The business and commercial interests that use Budd Inlet should be meeting to estimate the cost of dredging, discuss cost sharing and request public assistance if needed to ensure minimal effect on the local economy. That’s how private interests are kept separate from public interests.
The two groups, Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team and Capitol Lake Improvement & Protection Association are separated by at least a hundred million dollars over a 20- to 50-year span on the estimated cost to restore the estuary. Probably neither estimate is accurate because apparently they include different physical and infrastructure changes. We won’t have an accurate cost to restore the estuary until the state becomes heavily involved in this project and develops its own estimate.
For many years people have suggested a small, freshwater lake for recreational purposes alongside the estuary. No funding source has been identified for this lake but it would be in the public interest if both the estuary group and the lake group were to offer this small lake concept to each other as a compromise. The problem is that the boards of directors of both groups – just 20 people that control the public dialog – refuse to even acknowledge this preferred solution.