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Lottery Bond Shortfall Snares Three Central Oregon Coast Projects

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Oregon Coast Aquarium
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Three projects along the central Oregon coast will have to do without state funding, at least for now.

The projects include a renovation of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a new earthen dam for a reservoir in Newport, and an upgrade of the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

State lawmakers approved the funding last year using money from the sale of Oregon Lottery bonds. But with a major drop in lottery revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, those bonds aren’t being sold after all.

Rep. David Gomberg, D-Otis, said he’ll push for the projects to be included in a new round of lottery bonds next year. "The big question is going to be whether there are new projects that come to us that are more pressing, or whether the old projects that have already been approved should take priority,” he said.

The three Lincoln County projects are on a list of 37 from around Oregon to fall victim to the canceled lottery bond sale.

Gomberg said he hopes next year's lottery bonds won't have the same fate. "This is the first time that the bond sales have failed since the lottery began," he said. "I hope it's a long, long time before we fail again."

In the meantime, the backers of the projects are looking for other ways to finance them.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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