Klamath Falls, Ore. – The City of Klamath Falls is exploring a long term renovation for an industrial section of town, through the ‘Spring Street Urban Renewal Plan’.
When the railroad came to town, Spring Street was a hub of industrial activity.
But now, much of the area has fallen into disrepair.
Joe Wall serves as an assistant to the City Manager. He said, “The idea is what can we as a city do economic development wise to spur the redevelopment of the area.”
Roads in the area are in poor shape. Wall added that so is much of the infrastructure. “Looking at water, sewer, utilities, looking at private developer assistance – how to bridge the gap on some of those projects. And then a big thing that we find in a lot of these older buildings, they have to come up to code.”
Spring Street isn’t the only road being primed for renovation, as the urban renewal effort would extend well beyond Spring Street, covering more than 160 acres.
The investment isn’t cheap, as the $16,000,000 cost would be spread out over 30 years.
“What it does is establishes a frozen base of assessed values in the area,” Wall explained. “And then any growth in that value over the next 30 years goes to fund urban renewal projects.”
Backers hope the effort will help to spark new life into what was once a thriving section of town.
Klamath Falls City Manager Nathan Cherpeski is scheduled to brief the Klamath County Commissioners on the plan Wednesday morning.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.