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City has no plans to build a pool on land purchased for that purpose

The Scappoose City Council on Monday, June 2, passed a resolution to refinance its park and pool loans with U.S. Bank.

The city owes $305,601 for the 2009 park loan. That loan is related to the purchase of property where Veterans Park is located.

For the pool loan, the city owes $427,053.

Under the new loan option, the city will repay both U.S. Bank loans over eight years with annual payments starting at $56,909 and decreasing over the loan’s term. The interest rate will be 2.38 percent and payments will amount to a total of no more than $764,897.

While Scappoose still owes the bank for the pool loan, a pool has yet to be built despite years of discussion and fundraising.

In 2010, the city took out a $544,310 loan with U.S. Bank to purchase a 2.5-acre property intended to one day house a pool facility. The total purchase of the still-vacant land on the corner of Havlik Drive and Second Street amounted to about $674,000.

Scappoose also collected more than $230,000 of dedicated tax dollars after the passage of a 1998 pool ordinance. Those funds have been carried over into subsequent budgets, but flaws in the ordinance prompted the city to halt tax collection. The funds are currently used to pay pool loan debt and amount to $151,748, according to Scappoose’s 2015 budget document. Lehman

For the foreseeable future, the land on Havlik Drive and Second Street will likely remain vacant, as the city has not been able to afford the construction of a pool facility.

“At one point we talked about — since the pool is absolutely not in our future due to budget restraints — we talked about selling off that piece of land. Is that totally off the table?” Scappoose City Councilor Barbara Hayden asked the board at a June 2 meeting.

Scappoose City Manager Larry Lehman said the property is not listed as collateral to the loans and, as such, could be sold to generate revenue.

“Let’s say you do want to sell the property later on down the road. It’s my understanding that you could do so, because the loan is not tied, necessarily, to the property,” Lehman said.

While a property sale could generate funds to pay off a portion of the loans, as part of Scappoose’s loan agreement with U.S. Bank, the city cannot pre-pay on any of its loans over the eight-year period without being penalized.

Rather, the money would likely be budgeted to be disbursed incrementally to U.S. Bank as part of the city’s annual payments.

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