he City of Prineville has earned the League of Oregon Cities' Award of Excellence for 2017, for its innovative wastewater project and wetlands project.
Source columnist Jim Anderson, in an Aug. 23 Natural World column, described the project: "He (City Engineer Eric Klann) and his 19-man crew replaced the original 1940 wooden freshwater pipeline that carried water to homes in Prineville with the new, modern, safe plastic lines and ended up saving over 150 million gallons of water pumped from the Prineville wells—each and every year. And that was just the beginning." The city then created a 120-acre wetlands complex, adding hiking and walking trails and informational kiosks—doing it all, according to the City of Prineville, at a cost of $7.77 million, down from an initial estimated construction cost of $62 million for the mechanical wastewater treatment option.
"It took a lot of courage for Prineville leadership to look for an alternative to a traditional mechanical treatment plant," said Prineville City Manager Steve Forrester in a release Oct. 10. "It took persistence to seek out the appropriate funding and commitment to stay focused on a more innovative solution. The result— the Crooked River Watershed Complex—has created many benefits for the community while also saving significant money for homeowners and business interests."