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Aloha-Reedville books library celebration

Residents in Aloha have banded together to open a library. And a Celebration of Community will be held in the Aloha-Reedville area next month.

The Aloha Community Library hosts a grand opening beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 17683 S.W. Farmington Road, Suite E. It will showcase the thousands of fiction and non-fiction books donated by the public during the summer and include an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting, refreshments and prize drawings.

The community celebration will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Aloha High School, 18550 S.W. Kinnaman Road, beginning at 2 p.m. and feature food, music and activities for children and adults.

These are not the kind of things that usually take place in unincorporated areas, where community activities tend to be more limited than in established cities. But many residents in Aloha and Reedville see things a little differently.

“There are lot of unmet needs here and people are figuring out they’ve got to come together and do something about them,” says Douglas Hoy, president of the non-profit Aloha Community Library Association.

About 50,000 people live in the two adjacent unincorporated areas between Hillsboro and Beaverton. If it was incorporated, the Aloha-Reedville area would have more residents than Tigard. It has many established neighborhoods and offers some of the most affordable housing in the region. It is also one of the fastest-growing areas in the region, with the population increasing 68 percent between 1990 and 2010.

Despite that, the Aloha-Reedville area lacks such urban services as its own police department or school district. Most workers have to commute to other parts of the regional every day for work. It also has serious transportation-related problems, including heavy traffic on the Tualatin Valley Highway that cuts through the area.

Washington County received a federal Sustainable Communities grant and launched a three-year study on how to improve livability in the area in 2011. Additional funding for the $3 million study came from a Metro Construction Excise Tax grant and matching county funds.

Study goals include finding ways the county can work with the community to support job growth and enhance prosperity; maintain and increase affordable housing options; and improve auto, public transit, freight, bike and pedestrian options.

According to Hoy, public discussions held as part of the study helped inspire the creation of the library.

“Aloha needs a library,” Hoys says. “Hillsboro and Beaverton have libraries, but you have to get in your car and drive there to use them. When the study started, people started talking to each other and realized we agreed on things that needed to be done, like start a library. From there it just grew organically, almost chaotically, with a lot of volunteers until we were ready to open.”

Before the community celebration, a number of other related events are scheduled before the community celebration at Aloha High School. They include a Community Building Fair from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, and again from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. A Community Workshop will also be held at 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

More information on the Aloha-Reedville Study and Livable Community Plan is available on the county’s website, co.washington.or.us/alohareedville.




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