A majority of the Bend City Council has voted to proceed with the pipe portion of the city's controversial $68 million surface water improvement project. The decision means there will be no public hearing on the installation of the approximately 30-inch diameter pipe.
Three councilors voted to halt the project in favor of a major public involvement process, including Sally Russell, Doug Knight and Jim Clinton.
Four councilors voted to proceed with the laying of the pipe, which will carry water from Bridge Creek to a city water storage facility west of town, including Victor Chudowsky, Mark Capell, Scott Ramsay and Jodie Barram.
It was something of a surprise move from Chudowsky, who had campaign on a platform of concern about the surface water project. His vote on Wednesday ensured there would be no public debate on the question of the pipe.
It was a stunning decision to critics of the project who had hoped to weigh in on it publicly.