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Neighbors mull Foster Corridor questions at open house

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Attendees at the third and final Foster Corridor Investment Strategy open house at the Wikman Building near Foster Road at Holgate Boulevard talk with representatives from many City and County Bureaus.When the third and final “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy” open house was held recently, some 70 people came to participate at the Wikman Building, at 4420 S.E. 64th Avenue.

Provided as refreshments were a variety of tamales, and guests noshed on them as they browsed exhibit stations set up by many City and Multnomah County agencies.

“This is a multi-agency effort to take a look at the needs and interests out here, along the S.E. Foster Road corridor,” explained Portland Development Commissioner (PDC) Neighborhood Manager Sara King.

“These Bureaus, along with PDC and Foster Green, are looking for ways that as a community that we can solve some of the safety, environmental, and economic development issues out here,” King told THE BEE, while attendees found seats for the formal meeting.

“Tonight, we have several proposals that have been developed in partnership with the community,” explained King. “This is a chance to show the progress to date, and get some final comments.”

Potential types of projects that had been reviewed included:

· Commercial property energy retrofit program

· Traffic safety and streetscape improvements on Foster Road (52nd - 82nd Avenue section)

· Integrated capital improvement plan for infrastructure

· Small scale projects that can be implemented immediately by community groups, such as improvements to Laurelwood Park and local alleyways.

The stated goal of the project selected is to Develop a sustainable infrastructure and neighborhood-based job creation strategy to guide stakeholders and investors. The facilitator, Tony DeFalco, started the meeting by pointing out, Financial development  with sustainability  directs the activity.

Showing a graph on a PowerPoint presentation which displayed three intersecting circles  labeled Equity, Economic Prosperity, and Environment  DeFalco continued, It is the sweet spot in the middle of these three circles that is what were looking toward.

Were working to get all folks involved with a match-up of the resources, benefits, and opportunities, DeFalco added.

The project was funded mostly by a $250,000 Community Planning Grant from Metro, but the PDC also chipped in $50,000 from Tax Increment Financing, and there was a $50,000 Capital Improvement Fund investment by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Although this was the last open house scheduled to be held, King conceded, There may be another meeting dealing with specific projects or issues.