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'Puzzled why this council blocked an opportunity'

After attending (the Feb. 5) Lake Oswego City Council meeting, I was perplexed.Deborah Lopardo

Why was it necessary to eliminate the Foothills Urban Renewal District? Just keep it in place until it is needed. It requires no financial commitment from the city at this time.

After all that was done with the downtown URD (known as the East End development governed by LORA), only a $15 million bond is owed. This URD fostered the building of Lake View Village, (Millennium Plaza Park), Fifth Street improvements and much more. All agree that this work has been a stunning financial success for the city. The remaining obligation, a $15 million bond, is paid with taxes generated only by this URD, taxes that would not have been generated without the development. The URD has worked as intended.

We pay for those bonds at the best interest rate available because we are an AAA bond-rated city. One reason for that is that our reserves greatly surpass the required amount. Lake Oswego is a financially sound city.

Most of us want “private business” to be welcomed to Lake Oswego. On (Feb. 5), Foothills’ foes said “private business” as if it was a dirty word. Lake View Village, (Millennium Plaza Park), Fifth Street were all the result of public/private agreements.

Why does this council close the door on more success?

A councilor said he was concerned about a rumor that the statewide urban renewal districts negatively affect our statewide funds. One assumes this council would agree that Lake Oswegans already pay plenty of tax dollars to the state. We have exceptional representatives in Salem, please let them do state business. I want councilors who know their loyalty should be to our city.

I am puzzled as to why this council blocked an opportunity for another Lake Oswego success.

We all should stay vigilant to make sure our finances are protected under this new council.

Deborah Lopardo is a resident of Lake Oswego and a former member of the Lake Oswego School Board.



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