Providing an interactive investigative news site designed to inform & elicit communication focusing on matters impacting Crooked River Ranch matters & beyond
9/03/20, 1:08 PM
On June 10, 2020, Ranch Matters published a report titled, “SHIT STORM” regarding the Ranch RV PARK and the illegal Dump Stations.
In the report, former Ranch General Maintenance Supervisor, Steve Swigart, commented on the Dump Stations located in Section D.
Swigart stated, “I want everyone to know, I protested the project from the very beginning, I knew it wasn’t allowed, Ranch President, Carl Harbour knew it wasn’t allowed, but he (Harbour) apparently disregarded my advice and proceeded anyway.”
Swigart added, “I knew there would be potentially long and short term consequences, including financial consequences and was worried the Ranch would shift the blame on to me like they have done with other projects.” Swigart stressed, “I’m not going to be their fall guy.”
Following the above, Ranch Matters met with a DEQ representative in Portland and discussed Swigart’s concerns and hand delivered a letter that stated, “We have a question regarding a couple of septic systems on Crooked River Ranch one of the largest HOA’s in Oregon. We are members of the HOA and also have a news group that reports stories throughout Oregon. A former employee of the Ranch contacted our news group and asked us to investigate whether the Ranch Officials had prior authorization/permits to modify their engineered septic systems ti include RV Dump Stations. According to the former employee’s observations, the septic system was not designed to include the Dump Station modifications currently under construction in the RV Park…”
DEQ representative, Larry Brown contacted Ranch Matters and stated, “DUMP STATIONS IN SECTION D WERE NOT APPROVED AS PART OF THE PLAN.” Brown added, “If they (Crooked River Ranch) are installing, a dump station out there without DEQ approval, they are doing so ILLEGALLY and risk civil penalty assessments.” Further, Brown asked, “Did the BOD approve it and who handled the construction?”
Our June 10 report was updated on June 16 where we reported DEQ sent Crooked River Ranch Club & Maintenance Association, c/o President-Board of Directors, a “WARNING LETTER…” The letter stated in part, “Based on my investigation I have concluded that Crooked River Ranch Club & Maintenance Association is responsible for the following violations of Oregon environment law.”
“VIOLATIONS: (1) Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 468B.025 (2) Prohibited activities. No person shall violate the conditions of any waste discharge permit.
HOW DID PRESIDENT CARL HARBOUR AND THE BOD RESPOND?
Rather than remove the illegal dump stations the Ranch Officials doubled down and spent more money hiring an engineering firm with the apparent objective of buying time while conducting daily discharge readings.
Yesterday (9/03/20), we observed that one of the illegal dump stations had been removed
The second dump station was in the process of being removed.
We contacted Mr. Brown and he confirmed the Ranch notified him of their intent to remove the two illegal dump stations. Brown stated, “…by removing the dump stations they have removed the threat to the sewage disposal systems…”
We also reached out to Steve Swigart for a comment. Swigart wasn’t surprise and stated, “This is all Carl (President Harbour), all the way.” He quickly added, “Harbour used his power and authority to direct Ranch personnel to do something he knew was illegal and spent HOA members money for his high priority pet project.”
Lastly, Swigart said, “Harbour’s bad idea finally comes to an end, and the residents are stuck with the bill.”