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Jefferson and Deschutes counties contribute funding to Ranch second exit project.

JOHN STEVENS - From left to right, Alternate Exit Committee member Bim Gander, former association president Mitch Mitchener, Special Road District Chairman Rich Hoffman, SRD commissioner John Williams, association president Carl Harbour, former board president Dave Palmer, and Jeff Kitchens, of the Bureau of Land Management, cut the ribbon to open the new exit at Crooked River Ranch.
Despite the cold, rainy weather, many Crooked River Ranch residents, along with current and former CRR Club and Maintenance Association board members and dignitaries from the many entities involved in the Ranch's second exit celebrated with a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

"The rain let up just as the ceremony began at noon, making it more pleasant for several invited guests to make remarks," said Ranch Manager Judy LaPora.

Attending the celebration were Jefferson County Commissioner Wayne Fording and Administrator Jeff Rasmussen, Chris Doty from Deschutes County, Jeff Kitchens from the Bureau of Land Management, and representatives from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Crooked River Ranch Fire Department.

Also in attendance were members of the Alternate Exit Committee and Special Road District.

"This project has been a long and laborious process," said LaPora. "It took the cooperation and help of several governmental agencies, along with Crooked River Ranch, to bring the road to fruition."

"In fact, even though the road is entirely in Deschutes County, Jefferson County stepped up to provide support in the form of $100,000, and is acting as the borrower on behalf of the Ranch for financing, which enabled the Ranch to obtain significantly more attractive terms than would have been possible otherwise," she said.

Deschutes County also contributed $100,000 to the project and the Ranch Board of Directors contributed $200,000, which was originally scheduled to go into the Ranch Capital Reserve Fund. The final loan amount has not yet been determined, but is estimated to be approximately $367,000.

Crooked River Ranch is the largest homeowners association in the state of Oregon, with 2,646 properties on approximately 10,000 acres. Prior to the Quail Road Extension, there was a single access road that served the entire community.

"The potential wild fire threat has been a major concern of residents for some time, with the public land abutting the residential area of Crooked River Ranch being classified as extreme by the Jefferson County Forestland Interface Fire Protection Act Study," said LaPora.

While a second exit had been attempted in the past, LaPora credited the current Alternate Exit Committee, formed in 2013, with bringing all the parties together to successfully complete the project.

"Without the guidance and cooperation of Jefferson and Deschutes counties, along with the BLM, this critical project could not have been completed," she said. "Crooked River Ranch officials are extremely pleased to have a second exit, which is vital to the safety of our residents."

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