Editorial: The $1.9 million does not disappear

Published Dec 24, 2013 at 12:01AM

Paul Dewey’s latest decree is that the city of Bend was wrong to act without his blessing. Dewey, of Central Oregon LandWatch, says the city should not have moved so quickly ahead on its Bridge Creek piping project.

When the city claimed project delays brought on in large part by LandWatch cost $1.9 million, Dewey said: “Oh come on.”

Dewey said what the city should have done is waited to go out for bid on anything connected with the project until all the permits were issued.

Really? No design work? No engineering studies? Don’t try to save money on pipes? Don’t try to save money on construction?

Of course, that is so.

We cannot believe the municipal government would have the audacity to move forward on a municipal water project. Just who does the Bend City Council think it is, authorizing such a thing? The local governmental authority?

Of course, LandWatch has played an important role in this project — as have a number of others in the community. They have put pressure on the city to answer questions. They have raised a number of important issues. They got the city to lament it should have done more public outreach.

It was LandWatch, though, that has filed two lawsuits to stop the project.

But it doesn’t matter if LandWatch believes the costs that the city has accrued to fight those lawsuits were wrong. They are real costs. Should the city just do as LandWatch dictates?

It also doesn’t matter if Dewey believes that the city should not have moved as far ahead on the project until after LandWatch’s lawsuits played out.

It did move ahead.

Those costs are real.

The $1.9 million does not disappear.