The old Balm Grove Tavern. Photo: Chas Hundley

Gales Creek - The April 10 Community Participation Organization (CPO) 13 meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Gales Creek Church of God, and attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share with their neighbors while they learn about recycling and receive an update on Clean Water Service's Balm Grove Dam removal project.

This summer, Clean Water Services tentatively plans to begin removal of the historic dam that crosses Gales Creek on the Balm Grove property to improve fish habitat in Gales Creek. It's part of a wider project to offset adverse effects on fish in Scoggins Creek near Hagg Lake due to dam work.

County and regional leaders are grappling with a choice to either replace or alter the existing Scoggins Dam, which creates Hagg Lake, to meet the region's water needs in the future.

Either way, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife requires that the agencies involved find a way to mitigate their impact on local fish species, and Clean Water Services identified the Balm Grove Dam as a potential way to accomplish that, and purchased the property in 2016.

The Gales Creek Church of God is located at 9170 NW Sargent Road in downtown Gales Creek.

CPO 13 is a nonpartisan volunteer-led county organization that interfaces with Washington County to discuss land-use and other issues of importance to their community; CPO 13 meets monthly, alternating between Gales Creek and Verboort, with occasional meetings held in Roy as well.

All CPO meetings are open to the public, and generally have public safety updates from representatives of the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Forest Grove Fire & Rescue as they are available, as well as opportunities to share local events and community happenings.