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Odor study launched

Lake Oswego will pay $49,906 as part of a study of odor and aesthetics at the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Foothills.

The city joins Portland's Bureau of Environmental services in sharing the cost of the $99,812 contract with CH2M Hill.

Portland owns the plant, where Lake Oswego contracts to use it, paying for half the plant's capacity to treat local sewage.

Lake Oswego officials began studying the plant more than two years ago, looking for ways to move it to make way for redevelopment or parks. City leaders hoped to reclaim the 10 acres of Willamette River property, owned by Portland, through lease.

But a study of moving Lake Oswego's sewage into Clackamas County has shown the idea is prohibitively expensive. Lake Oswego interests had aimed to send sewage to a consolidated Clackamas County facility, which is no longer being considered.

Instead, Portland and Lake Oswego will team up to study odor, screening and landscaping ideas to prep the plant as a future neighbor to development.

Assistant City Manager Jane Heisler said the city has no current plans to partner with private interests to develop Foothills but talk about redevelopment is still ongoing.

She said the Lake Oswego City Council 'wants some more discussion about how to proceed' and will meet soon to address the topic.

Meanwhile, the study, which could take four to six months, will consider how best to screen the facility and make it a better neighbor to Foothills Park.

It asks questions such as: 'If you were looking at this facility as a neighbor from four stories up, what would you see?' Heisler said, and also evaluates processes there to minimize odor.

Heisler said the goal is: 'How can we best achieve our goals of mixed use in Foothills and have the treatment plant stay here?'

Lake Oswego's portion of the study is being financed through hotel and motel taxes but may also draw from sewer funds.

As part of the study, CH2M Hill will also look at siting a possible public facility on the site. The space would potentially be used as conference space at the plant and would double as a public meeting room.