News briefs Jan. 23
Help develop a sustainable vision for the Harmony area during an open house Thursday, Jan. 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oregon Institute of Technology Gymnasium.
Participants will be asked to vote at several stations on what they would like to see and experience in the Harmony area - about 100 acres off SE 82nd Avenue and Harmony Road. They will be asked to provide input on the vision statement for the area, based on the previous two meetings. The area includes Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), Clackamas Community College (CCC), North Clackamas Aquatic Park, North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) green space below the aquatic park and more. The group will also give input regarding the naming of the Harmony property.
The area under discussion integrates the new Center for Health Education, NCPRD Aquatic Park, park and green space, the future of OIT and the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce.
Students, business partners, government agencies, neighbors and other key stakeholders will be at the tables to help build a unified vision to benefit generations to come. The public meetings along with comments presented online and in other formats will help shape the outcome for the project. The vision plan will provide the framework for future improvements to the site (to be used by all the partners).
September and November meetings included updates from the sponsoring organizations - on Clackamas County's transportation projects, NCPRD's park and fitness proposal, and Clackamas Community College's health education center plans. Hundreds of comments have been received from lively discussion at the previous two meetings. The purpose of this final planning meeting for the entire area is to summarize and hear what is most important to this group of participants.
Along with the County, NCPRD and the college, partners include OIT, North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce, North Clackamas School District and Water Environment Services.
The meeting will be at the OIT Gym, located at 7726 SE Harmony Road, Milwaukie. For more information, visit the Web site at www.harmonyvision.org. Interpreters for citizens speaking Spanish will again be available to include public comment.
Riverside Elementary wins grant for art program
Teachers Betsy Williamson, Anne Spady and Anne Cunningham just got a belated Christmas gift. The second-grade team at Riverside Elementary was just awarded a $600 grant from Artists for the Arts for a project that will introduce children to hands-on art experiences with an artist-in-residence at the Portland Children's Museum.
'As many as half the students at Riverside live in poverty, so their knowledge base is lacking due to limited life experiences,' explained Williamson. 'By providing exposure, experiences and opportunities in the arts, we hope to increase students' personal data banks of knowledge as we enrich their learning. Our intent is to have students return to our classrooms with the knowledge and awareness to extend their artistic personalities.'
Research shows that engaging arts experiences increase children's self-esteem and academic success.
Clackamas County's Street SMART program continues
The 23 Clackamas County residents, community leaders and business representatives who make up Street SMART (Street Safety, Mobility and Reliability Team) met Jan. 3 to review the County's transportation system. The group has three more meetings scheduled to prepare recommendations on transportation funding for the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.
The public is welcome to attend the meetings, and time is provided during the meetings for public comments. The next three meetings are scheduled as follows:
Meeting No. 2 - Transportation Funding Options; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 17, 2008; Sunnybrook Service Center Auditorium, 9101 SE Sunnybrook Blvd., Clackamas County
Meeting No. 3 - Possible Funding Scenarios; 4-7 p.m., Thursday, January 31; Sunnybrook Service Center Auditorium, 9101 SE Sunnybrook Blvd., Clackamas County
Meeting No. 4 - Funding Recommendations; 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13; Sunnybrook Service Center 4th floor, 9101 SE Sunnybrook Blvd., Clackamas County.
Street SMART is scheduled to present recommendations to the County Board by the end of February. The group is charged with developing recommendations on what steps the County should take to obtain additional funds to invest in the County's transportation system, including the possibility of putting one or more transportation funding measures on the May 20, 2008, ballot.
Metro to seek bids for waste-hauling
The Metro Council has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for transporting waste from the metropolitan region 150 miles east to the Columbia Ridge landfill in Gilliam County, Oregon. Proposals for the 10-year contract will be reviewed by an interagency evaluation team before council chooses a contractor this summer.
Proposals may include a variety of transportation modes - truck, rail, barge or a combination of modes. The criteria by which proposals will be evaluated include cost, environmental impacts, socioeconomic impacts and operational considerations/reduction of risk.
'The waste transport RFP utilizes a set of measures which will be weighed in the interest of the public, including the cost to rate payers, effect on emissions such as greenhouse gases and economic impact to both the metropolitan region and Gilliam County,' said Metro Council President David Bragdon. 'The Council will be looking for proposals that are sound from a business perspective as well as innovative in terms of sustainability and impact to the region.'
A draft RFP was issued last fall for review and comment. The final RFP and evaluation criteria incorporated results from a transportation study of possible modes and from suggestions made by the public, government officials, community groups and transportation industry representatives during the comment period. In their action on Thursday, the Metro Council reaffirmed seeking proposals from the three viable transport modes and to reallocate evaluation points to give more consideration to environmental and socioeconomic impacts.
Despite a regional recovery rate of 56 percent in the Metro area, the region still disposes of 1.2 million tons of waste per year. The new contract will provide for as much as 700,000 tons per year to be sent to the Columbia Ridge landfill. The current contract to haul the waste, held by CSU Transportation, expires on Dec. 31, 2009. The new contract will begin Jan. 1, 2010 and expire at the end of 2019.
More information about Metro can be found online at www.metro-region.org.