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Nearly $150,000 in grant money given to Klamath Falls

The money will be used to build new apartments in downtown. Several new projects are underway that officials hope will bring new people to work and live in the area.

Posted: May 14, 2019 11:15 AM
Updated: May 14, 2019 11:17 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- A $149,751 grant was given to Klamath Falls from Oregon Main Street Revitalization. Officials are using the grant to build four new apartments in the Lamb-Swansen building in downtown.

This project in particular started about 6 months ago, but officials didn't receive the grant until May 2. This grant is one out of 30 awarded throughout Oregon. In total over 5 million dollars in grants were given out this year. Klamath Falls is using their grant to fund demolition, electrical elements and construction costs of the apartments in the heart of downtown.

Darin Rutledge, the Klamath Falls Executive Director, said, "They're going to demolish the space and prepare it again to rebuild into new residential space. It''ll be reformatted from before a little to make the units nicer and more of the work force class or market rate housing."

Rutledge told NewsWatch12 Klamath Falls officials have long felt the need for more residential space because housing is not only a state wide problem, but a national problem as well.

This is one of the many projects the city started in hopes of attracting people who want to work and live in Klamath Falls. There are numerous projects planned and a majority of them will begin soon and some are even close to being done already.

Scott Souders, the Klamath Falls City Engineer, and Rutledge have both lived in Klamath Falls for more than thirty years.

Souder said, "Every year I've been here we've had significant additions to our community and it's exciting."

Souder started as the city engineer about three years ago. He said he loves working having the chance to directly work on all the new change throughout Klamath Falls. Rutledge feels the same way and even told NewsWatch12 he's upset that Klamath Falls has such a negative stigma. His goal is to show everyone how great the city really is. 

"Especially in the last five years, but even in the last two years particularly in the downtown area it's changed so much," Rutledge said. 

Right now, several projects are kicking off. Construction is set to begin any day now on a 90-plus room hotel. Other projects that will begin soon include new restaurants, a bank and government offices. A new waterfront geothermal trail is nearly complete and a park in downtown is on track to be completed in July.

Souder said, "We are one of very few if any communities that have an undeveloped lake front like we do here in Timbermill Shores and so its exciting to see these opportunities come along."

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