Stan Sugarman of Blue Windmill Farms, LLC will be ordered to repair a stream and pay a $10,000 fine. Sugarman, hired a company owned or affiliated with Coos County commissioner Fred Messerle to move the stream without a permit. Redirecting the stream deprived neighbors of their water and forced some to drill new wells. Sugarman contested a proposed order to repair the stream and had a hearing last December but according to Bob Lobdell of DSL, “The state was upheld on all counts including the 10,000 civil penalty.”
The reason this story is of interest is because the contractor who rerouted the stream is Jason Messerle of Messerle and Sons and reported to be the son of our appointed commissioner, Fred Messerle. The violation was reported to DSL, DEQ and the local sheriff as it was occurring and photographs were taken of Messerle equipment operating and filling in the original stream bed but the Oregon Department of Justice attorney handling the case for DSL confirms that Messerle is not named in the proposed order.
The order calls for an elaborate system to protect fish from silt and sediment during restoration of the stream. Most responsible contractors know better than to make radical alterations to fish bearing streams without a permit.