Medford approves $300k for new storm water treatment facility

MEDFORD, Ore.– The Medford Urban Renewal Agency recently approved $300,000 for a new storm water treatment facility for Bear Creek.

MURA said they will begin working on the project in the next couple weeks.

The agency’s Director Harry Weiss said, “right now, the pipe that’s there takes untreated storm water and puts it straight into the creek.”

MURA is working toward building a storm water treatment facility that will serve around 60 acres of homes in the southern half of the Liberty Park area.

The agency plans to start the project in April by moving a drain pipe on riverside avenue near where the storm water treatment facility will eventually be.

“Now, we’re implementing the development agreement, where we do our work which is relocating the pipe,” Weiss said, “separately, the city was interested in potential regional storm water treatment, and because we had secured a site where they could do one, they said, well how about we add onto the project and we do something jointly there?”

Weiss said installing a new treatment facility will have many ecological benefits for the wildlife in Bear Creek.

According to a study from the University of Washington, polluted storm water can deprive fish and wildlife of oxygen and essential nutrients.

“Long-term for development, that storm water treatment will take care of all storm water treatment for a 60 acre area, which is the southern half of Liberty Park. So future development won’t have to do that on site, it’s already taken care of.”

Weiss said there is another $500,000 of ARPA funding that is being put toward the facility, in addition to the $300,000 that was recently approved for other infrastructure projects in the area.

MURA will be looking to get their work done before the summer, when the city plans to repave Riverside Avenue.

“In addition to the storm water work, MURA is also bringing new water taps from the water line that runs up Riverside, for two new hydrants on the east side of Riverside, so we need to get all of that in before July.”

Weiss said they have more projects in store for the area including a future pedestrian and bike bridge that will cross Bear Creek and connect to the greenway.

He said there may also be space for a housing development in the area as well.

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NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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