The City of Portland has announced that it is now accepting nominations for the 'East Side Community Benefit Opportunity (CBO) Program'. The CBO Program funds community projects in neighborhoods and business districts directly affected by combined sewer overflow (CSO) construction projects, which include the southern portion of the Brooklyn neighborhood, because of the 'Big Pipe' excavation planned on the north side of S.E. McLaughlin at 17th, and the north end of Westmoreland, because of the two different excavations planned for the intersection of S.E. 18th and Insley.
Portland is in the 15th year of a 20-year program to control CSOs to the Columbia Slough and Willamette River. In 2001, the city awarded nearly $1 million in areas affected by West Side Big Pipe construction, and the community benefit projects in that case eventually included neighborhood tree plantings, revegetation, pedestrian and bicycle access, access to the Willamette River, a community garden, and a living water garden/schoolyard restoration.
The East Side Big Pipe is now under construction, with excavations already in progress at the former Corno's Market site and near OMSI, and it is time to begin the East Side CBO Program. Nearly $2 million is available for projects that enhance neighborhoods directly impacted by nearby excavation and construction on the project.
If your neighborhood is affected by project construction, advises the city, you may be eligible to apply. The city is accepting applications through Monday, January 8, 2007 at 4 pm. An advisory committee of neighborhood, business, environmental, and other community stakeholders will recommend which projects to fund.