Are the city councils goals for 2006 intertwined?
- Bob Harding
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
While I appreciate the Review's printing of my Sept. 21 article which you titled '… Ante Up' related to costs associated with city council's 2006 goals and objectives it deserves clarification to your readers as to the interrelated natures of many of these projects.
As a reminder I noted the following figures:
* $59 million current debt (this of course has risen with the $25 million line of credit Wells Fargo note for Safeco).
* $65 million dollar In-lake sewer interceptor repair estimate.
* $45 to $125 million decommissioning of Portland's (BES)Tryon Creek Sewer Plant.
* $12 million obligation in breaking the BES (Portland plant) contract.
* $60 million Safeco Community Center (this now rising toward $80 to $100 million, too).
* $20 million Foothills urban renewal.
* $42 million Lake Grove urban renewal.
* $20 to $30 million streetcar.
By listing the projects out, such as the streetcar, it begs the question: What steps would be taken for a project such as this to become reality? While the city's information director notes that council has taken off the 'table' the decommissioning of the Portland Tryon Creek Sewer Plant, and said the plant handles the vast majority of our waste, is that realistic? After all, to get potential federal, state, and Metro matching funds on a streetcar transit project, don't the factors of Metro's Transit Oriented Development come into play. So a sreetcar goal begets an urban densification housing development project to qualify for some matching funds. Of course Metro will want 6,8,10 or more stories of residential dwellings over whatever to satisfy their 'Get Centered' and 'New Look' goals. Now envision the success of selling these residential units while downwind of a 10 million gallon a day sewer plant and you can probably get a 'whiff' of how fallacious a point it is related to not including the sewer plant decommissioning while still proposing a streetcar project. So a streetcar is intertwined with the plant decommissioning and the resulting breach of the BES contract.
Whether funding these projects with AAA rated General Bonds (via property tax increases), Revenue Bonds (in the form of user fee increases) it really doesn't matter. The same pocketbook, you and I, get to ultimately pick up the tab.
We can likewise cross the lake and see Metro's hand in the Lake Grove 'Village' Plan. One of mixed use urbanization, 45-feet tall buildings (or more) with residential units above retail to the tune of Metro's Town Center goal of 40 people per acre. Neighborhood charm, livability and reduction of traffic through adjoining neighborhoods are not the major objectives; rather bowing to Metro satisfaction becomes the objective of this project. To further complicate the 'Village' (sic Town) Center Plan the context of this proposal is laced with the acceptance of the Safeco Community Center project. From the 'plan' you can read the details. Such as page 3 under Village Center Comprehensive Plan '.. public uses … a community center', page 13 as Plan Concepts and Key Elements '... Northwest of the intersection of Kruse Way and Daniel Way (current Safeco site) … a community facility,' page 31 noted as Goals and Policies Goal 8.2 'Create a multi-purpose community facility at the Safeco site,' or the finishing touches as page 34's notation of high priority features ranking of project priorities 'Site and develop a community facility … On the Safeco parcel' (note no price given here). So here again one council goal begets another.
Intertwined, you be the judge. There are plenty of council candidates and a county commissioner candidate who hope you won't make the connection.
Bob Harding is a resident of Lake Oswego.