We've been reading of good reports of the LOIS project but maybe citizens need to know that these are being accomplished on the backs of city residents. We have to ask, are we doing this project for the citizens of the city, or awards to the engineers and construction company?
In initial meetings we were told that the project would restore the lake to how it was before the project started, and that we would never know that they had entered the lake. Now LOIS won't stand by its initial promise.
We've been residents of Lake Oswego for 35 years and recently have been fortunate to live on the lake, a construction zone for the last few years. A small 'island' in the lake, and in our view, (really a disguised manhole) was removed, but soon a new, undisguised industrial one replaced it. We and our neighbors tried to address this with the LOIS team. After many unanswered emails and calls we were informed that they had no plans to camouflage the manhole in any way. Who would think it is fair to stick an industrial manhole in an urban lake in view of several homes? The city's LOIS project does.
We've emailed, called, had meetings, written letters and sent photos to the LOIS team. The answer has always been no. They have stalled and put a spin on everything. Never once did they visit our homes to see what we were talking about or offer anything to help us with this issue. They have distorted our concerns to city councilors. We've been told to wait until the lake is full, which will make any changes to the manhole impossible; this needs to be addressed now while the manhole is on dry ground.
We've been accused of not compromising, but we've never been shown anything to compromise on. We think their comments are just spins on them saying no to anything we offer. Friday night we heard from Bill Tierney, a city council member, that he requested the city, discuss this with us, but as of this writing we have heard nothing from anyone at the city. Why won't they contact us?
We find it ironic that we can spend $100 million on this project but the team is unwilling to camouflage this eyesore. All we've asked for was what was there before: A culvert surrounded by natural vegetation. Isn't it ironic that we can't cut down trees within the city but we have to look at industrial manholes.
At a time that the city can spend millions on walkways near the lake, additions to Millennium Plaza Park as well as the State Street park for visitors to view the lake, the lack of willingness to address this industrial manhole is a concern. We, as Lake Oswego taxpayers, deserve better.
It appears to us that the LOIS team is working for themselves and not the citizens of the city right now. What is the purpose of this project? A safe and ascetically pleasing solution to our sewer problem, or an industrial means to win awards for the engineers and construction company? It appears to us that it is the latter.
Kay and Mike Stevenson are residents of Lake Oswego.