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Ashland plans to filter odor out of Reeder Reservoir

ASHLAND — Floating, solar-powered water recirculators may be the solution to the bad taste and smell that plagued the city's water after a summer algae bloom in Reeder Reservoir.

The city of Ashland fielded more than 100 complaints in the fall about the water.

The Ashland City Council tonight will decide whether to award a $73,000 contract with Brown and Caldwell of Portland to try to improve the water.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The firm would place two rental recirculators in the reservoir to disrupt algae growth and reduce the nutrients that spur that growth. The firm also would sample the water and make test dives. If after a three-month period the devices proved effective, the city could pay another $92,000 to buy the recirculators.

In a memo to the City Council, interim Public Works Director Jim Olson said there is a strong likelihood that the recirculators will be effective.

The recirculators could reduce the city's reliance on chemicals used to kill algae.

In other business tonight, the City Council is scheduled to:

  • Decide whether to authorize formation of a local improvement district to upgrade Liberty Street and whether to set a public hearing to consider another district to improve the alley between Harrison and Morton streets.
  • Consider whether to negotiate an agreement with Jackson County to provide for the transfer of residential development rights from Measure 49 claims in the county to areas designated by the city of Ashland.
  • Consider a proposed park-and-ride area at the north end of Ashland to encourage bus use.
  • Consider changes meant to streamline Ashland's land-use rules.

Vickie Aldous is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. She can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.