Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, continues to try to breathe life into a bill that would allow the Sunriver Resort partnership to develop 925 homes on the Pine Forest tract to the south and east, in return for as much as $3 million to help with south county septic issues.
Whisnant intends to shift the bill’s language from its previous vehicle, House Bill 3347, to a new one, HB 3467. And he plans to amend it so the money is paid up front, rather than waiting as much as two decades as the earlier version of the bill allowed.
At 3 p.m. on Friday, the bill will receive a vote in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, after which it will be sent to the House Rules committee. There, the bill may receive a hearing with public testimony — or it may not, depending on what the House leadership decides.
Whisnant says he has been trying to line up support from state officials. And to bolster his case, he has been sending out a letter from Department of Environmental Quality Director Dick Pedersen, in which Pedersen responds to Whisnant’s question of whether the department could find uses for that money to help with south county septic issues. Pedersen’s response: yes.
But the letter is not winning over vocal opponents like Robert Ray, owner of an auto parts store in La Pine. On Tuesday, in an e-mail responding to the letter from Whisnant, he wrote, “I just have to ask where in the body of that letter does DEQ or Director Pedersen indicates that he supports the bill?”