Triplicate Staff

The Crescent City Council at its Monday meeting will take public input and vote to weigh in on an exploratory drilling project planned for the North Fork Smith River watershed, the first time a local public board has done so.

The Council will take public input and vote to approve sending a letter in opposition of the drilling project, planned by the Red Flat Nickel Corporation, to the Oregon Water Resource Department. If the water quality of theSmith River is compromised, which opponents of the drilling project say it will be, the city may be forced to increase the level of water treatment, according to staff documents. That would increase annual operational and capital improvement costs, the documents say.

"The city is troubled that the Oregon Water Resource Department is approving an aspect of the project prior to the completion of an environmental assessment," the proposed letter reads. "Without such an assessment, the city is concerned that this project has the potential to negatively impact the water quality of the North Fork Smith River, and therefore, the quality of the city's municipal water supply. Due to the potential for this project and its associated appropriation of water from the tributaries to the North Fork Smith River, the City Council of the City of Crescent City opposes the approval of this water license pending the appropriate environmental review by the United States Forest Service."

To comment on the current water use application, visit the shortened URL for the Oregon Water Resources Department click on the "Submit Public Comment" link.

The Crescent City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Flynn Administrative Center at 981 H Street. Agendas and staff reports can be found