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City gets moving on council priorities

Hillsboro is making steady progress on most of the priorities set by the City Council, according to City Manager Michael Brown.

The priorities were set by the council at a retreat earlier this year. They included three that were carried over from last year. Brown recapped the status of the priorities for the council at its July 16 meeting.

The three priorities carried over from last year include expanding the Main Library, increasing the use of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex and adopting a communications and marketing plan. The library project is currently underway, the baseball stadium has been completed at the recreation complex — and the city is moving forward with a branding program that includes a new logo and themes stressing its agricultural roots and high-tech industries.

The 2013 Oregon Legislature supported a number of Hillsboro’s other priorities, Brown said. The Legislature committed $1.5 million to the Westside Transportation Solutions Study, which was championed by Mayor Jerry Willey. It also approved funding for a number of already-planned transportation projects, including expansion of the U.S. 26/Brookwood interchange. And it continued the Gain Share economic development program after the city and Washington County pledged $10 million to schools in the county over the next two years.

Additional uses for the remaining Gain Share funds to be received from the state will be discussed by the council in August. They are likely to include infrastructure and economic development-related projects, not support of existing operations.

State lawmakers did not resolve the land-use challenge to Metro’s decision to expand the Urban Growth Boundary in Washington County to create more industrial land. That means the ultimate decision still rests with the state Land Use Board of Appeals and, possibly, the courts. The Economic Development Department will soon begin finalizing plans for it, however.

A new public works facility will be built on a 15-acre parcel at Northwest Evergreen and Northwest Sewell roads. Architects are working on the preliminary design, city staff is seeking stakeholder comment and construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2014.

The 50-year water supply project has been approved by the Hillsboro Utilities Commission, which increased water rates an average of 6.7 percent to help fund it. The Tualatin River Water District has also agreed to partner in the effort to build a water treatment plant along the Willamette River near Wilsonville and a 19-mile pipeline to the city.

The Hillsboro 2020 Vision Plan is on track for renewal beyond 2020. The council will receive a report on upcoming activities on Aug. 6.

The city is continuing to increase its support to the schools, thanks in large part to the Legislature’s continuation of the Gain Share program. Funding for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects is ongoing, with sidewalk work to comply with the American with Disabilities Act already scheduled along 37th Avenue.

Finally, the city is still looking for funds to implement the

GoPoint multi-modal mobility project that failed to win funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge earlier this year.




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  • 26 Aug 2014

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