University of Oregon

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

Rural Klamath Connects brings towns together

TULELAKE — A pilot project funded by the Ford Family Foundation is helping connect five rural communities in the Klamath Basin, both in person and online.

Rural Klamath Connects, a regional communication hub connecting Malin, Merrill, Bonanza, Dorris and Tulelake, is operated by Rural Klamath Connects Network, formerly Basin Revitalization Network. The website also includes a community calendar as a resource for events, news and community projects and directory.

Attendees of Rural Klamath Connects Thursday at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds got a taste of the new resource and also of town life and growth in many of the region’s cities as they learned new ways to boost each city’s brand, and to share recent and upcoming community projects.

“What is so nice about this is that if you’re planning an event in February and you don’t want to coincide with the Merrill Lions Club Crab Feed, you can check out the calendar ahead of time and be able to see what’s going on so that you don’t run into each other’s events and we can all support one another,” said Kay Neumeyer, city recorder for the city of Malin.

“We’re very happy that our paper directory is now online.

“It’s been such a pleasure to work with all these groups of people the last couple of years,” Neumeyer added. “I’ve had a ball getting all five towns together. I think we’ ve got something really great going, and I hope we can just continue.”

City representatives shared with attendees on new happenings and upcoming projects in the works.

Jenny Coelho, administrative clerk for Tulelake, gave an overview of the city’s growing revitalization team working to give the city’s downtown area a boost.

“We’ve been really busy the last couple of years,” Coelho said. “The city of Tulelake does a lot with community (development) block grants.”

With the help of a grant, the city funded renovations of the city’s library in August 2015, also adding new siding, carpet and electric work.

“It’s one of our most important things within the city,” Coelho said.

“It really is a place for the kids to go. People go in and they utilize the computers. It’s very helpful.”

Tulelake also completed $6 million in wastewater upgrades in November 2016, after 10 years of planning process, according to Coelho.

“We are going to also be upgrading the water system,” Coelho said. “We’re going to paint our lovely water tower. We’re upgrading some water storage system and pipeline.”

Coelho also talked about plans for the Clyde Hotel, located in Tulelake.

“We’re working to try and get that to come down,” Coelho said.

Other representatives from nearby cities talked of plans for current and future community projects, such as Danise Brakeman, of non-profit Bonanza Cares, and the Bonanza Revitalization Team, which focuses on beautification and economic development.

“The mission of Bonanza Cares is caring for our community,” Brakeman said.

Brakeman also talked about a flower basket program that started in Bonanza one to two years ago, where businesses can purchase the blooms to beautify their storefronts.

“We try to promote family, volunteerism and we just take care of each other.”

The event was coordinated and hosted by Katie Jameson, a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments participant serving the South Central Oregon Development District.

For more information, contact Kay at Malin City Hall at 541-723-2021 or Jenny at Tulelake City Hall at 530-667-5522.

To learn more about Rural Klamath Connects, go online at www.ruralklamathconnects.org.

Originally Published in The Herald and News
2701 Foothills Blvd.
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Phone: 541-885-4410