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'Go home, LO, and take your industrial plant with you'

In 2007 the Lake Oswego Review published “A showdown looms on the Clackamas River.” In it, Lake Oswego’s water engineer, Joel Komerak, states: “With growth projections of 500-700,000 people in Clackamas County by 2040 the demand for drinking water on the Clackamas will exceed the river’s ability to support fish in the next two decades. ... They’re going to be pushing for higher flows than what has been thought of as necessary to support fish. Those increased flows are going to create conflict between sensitive species and drinking water supplies.”These words come from the same person who is advocating to include Tigard in the consumption of water taken from the Clackamas even though Tigard is not in the Clackamas River basin.Tigard and Lake Oswego have options. Tigard could change its charter and cobble on to Wilsonville’s system. LO could join South Fork, creating a win-win with West Linn and Oregon City. All are very doable but being ignored because in the decision makers’ minds it is cheaper to destroy a neighborhood in West Linn.

Jane Heisler, LO’s communication director, has made several comments deserving of a reply. Heisler said Lake Oswego did not conduct any studies to find a new location for its water plant. “We have a plant,” she said. “It wouldn’t really make sense for us to look someplace else.”

According to Heisler in a March 16 West Linn Tidings article, the cost of relocating the plant would negate the savings Lake Oswego would get from partnering with Tigard — roughly $76 million. On top of that, Lake Oswego would lose tax revenues from the properties that would be condemned to make room for a plant — similar to the dollars West Linn has lost on the four properties associated with the water treatment plant. Whether LOT saves money or not is not an issue for us. Destroying our neighborhood and property values is. Plus, LO wants to keep Foothills for residential use but deprive West Linn’s tax base of some 24 homes that could be built on this land.

Heisler also said everyone is for the project and that it will create jobs. Not so fast. More than 150 people testified in opposition at West Linn’s recent planning commission meetings. Seven WL neighborhood associations are opposed. Plus, more than 20 businesses signed a petition opposing this project. If it such a good deal for West Linn, why doesn’t Lake Oswego do this in its own city? Go home, LO, and take your industrial plant with you.

I am so tired of LOT’s fiction trying to promote benefits to West Linn. The fact of the matter is, this project does not meet West Linn land use codes in a variety of ways. There are few if any benefits for West Linn that do not already exist with our agreements with LO.

If LOT’s agenda had any merit, then explain away the reason why LOT has employed Draconian bully tactics one after another to bulldoze its way through this city.

People of Lake Oswego are faced with choices in a few weeks. The LO leadership has lost its moral compass and, as your neighbors, we hope you bring in some new leadership.

David J. Froode is a West Linn resident and chairman of West Linn Riverfront Association.




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