Weekday envelope: $5 million for Wallowa Lake Dam reconstruction and Oregon to suspend homeowner assistance claims

Weekday envelope: $5 million for Wallowa Lake Dam reconstruction and Oregon to suspend homeowner assistance claims

Tribes awarded $5 million for Lake Wallowa dam reconstruction

Tribes working to restore sockeye salmon habitat in northeast Oregon will receive $5 million under a federal grant program. The money will help the Nez Perce and Umatilla tribes rehabilitate the 100-year-old Wallowa Lake Dam south of Joseph. Adding a fish passage to the dam will unlock access to hundreds of miles of spawning grounds for sockeye salmon in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

“The tribe has had some success bringing back coho salmon that once disappeared from the Snake River basin and dramatically increasing the return of fall chinook salmon to the Snake River basin, we would like to do the same with the sockeye salmon,” Nez Perce Tribal Chairman Samuel N. Penney said in an emailed statement. “We believe it is our responsibility to restore the people of our homelands if we can; they always took care of us.

The plan is to create a catch basin that will attract the fish, where they will be collected and trucked upstream. But the project still faces obstacles. The Wallowa County Chieftain newspaper reported that rising costs and funding delays have stalled the project until 2024. (OPB staff)

Oregon to suspend homeowner assistance requests amid backlog

Oregon Housing and Community Services will suspend accepting new applications for the Oregon Homeowners Relief Fund program on Wednesday.

Ryan Vanden Brink, assistant director of homeowner assistance programs, said the pause will allow the agency to process ongoing requests in its pipeline, perform minor system maintenance and better predict the amount of remaining federal money for homeowners.

Eligible homeowners are encouraged to request assistance by 11 a.m. Wednesday. If someone has already applied or started an application, the pause will not impact them.

During this pause, homeowners who have fallen behind or are at risk of missing a payment on their mortgage can continue to get free help from certified housing counselors across the state. To serve the most at-risk landlords during this pause, OHCS will continue to accept applications submitted by Housing Counselors on behalf of landlords in specific situations.

The Homeowner Assistance Program received approximately 180 applications during a minimal pilot program. Since opening its third phase in June 2022, an additional 1,700 applications have been initiated by homeowners in Oregon. (OPB staff)

Boise launches investigation into cop with white supremacist ties

The city of Boise has launched an investigation into the discovery that a retired police captain has ties to a white supremacist organization. Retired BPD captain Matt Bryngelson used an alias while shouting racist beliefs online and working as a municipal officer. He was also among the listed speakers at a conference organized by a group of white nationalist organizations. Mayor Lauren McLean said an independent investigation will look into whether McLean or other members of the police department have advanced racist ideology, including a review of arrest records. (Julie Luchetta and Troy Oppie/Boise State Public Radio)

Read the full story here.

New $35 million transfer center aims to move trucks away from I-5

After five years and several hurdles, the long-awaited $35.5 million intermodal facility in Millersburg is complete and faces its next test: start-up of operations. Once operational, developers say the Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal Center will remove several trucks from the I-5 freeway, reducing traffic congestion in the area and getting goods to Asian markets faster. and other destinations. Located at a long-vacant paper mill site, the facility is designed to transfer train containers filled with agricultural and timber products onto ships and ship them to countries like China and South Korea. Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist said the project was challenging, but “will be a driving force in our local economy”. (Bill Poehler/Salem Statesman Journal)

Read the full story here.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort Opens Tuesday

The Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort announced Monday that it will open for the season on Tuesday, thanks to a winter storm that dumped snow on the Cascades over the weekend.

For starters, the resort will operate its Daisy, Buttercup and Easy Rider chairlifts, as well as the Ballroom Carpet, according to vice president of marketing Dave Tragethon.

“It mostly gives access to groomed beginner and intermediate terrain,” he said. “We have 31 inches of snow depth in the base area right now, almost 4 feet mid-mountain. And with the storms on the way, we expect that we will most likely add more lifts and terrain by the weekend.

Tragethon said while winter storms are great news for ski resorts, they can also create dangerous driving conditions. Drivers should visit TripCheck.com before heading to the Cascade Passes.

At Timberline Lodge, two ski lifts are already in operation. And at Mount Bachelor in central Oregon, opening day is scheduled for Wednesday. (OPB staff)

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our press partners in the region.

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