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State of the City: Tualatin is looking good for 100 years old

OgdenWhen reflecting on Tualatin’s past year, perhaps there is no better place to start than the gateway.

“After three decades, the entrance to our city will no longer be a strip bar, but rather a premier shopping center that will be another regional jewel located in Tualatin,” Mayor Lou Ogden said during his annual State of the City address Jan. 29, to a crowd at the Grand Hotel in Bridgeport Village.

In other words, he said, “Goodbye, Jiggles! Hello, Cabela’s!”

Ogden spoke broadly of the cooperative efforts between the city and Nyberg Rivers’ developer CenterCal Properties, which has broken ground on more than 300,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant space that will replace the long-floundering Kmart shopping center on Nyberg Street and Martinazzi Avenue. And not all of the improvements are commercial, Ogden pointed out, detailing the city’s effort to secure an additional $2 million in funding to extend the current trail system under the Interstate 5 overpass to the Tualatin River.

The project is a collaboration with the developer. As CenterCal Chief Executive Officer Fred Bruning pointed out in an interview with The Times on Tuesday, the trails would follow in historic footsteps — the Nyberg family used to herd their cattle under what is now the overpass.

“We’ve agreed to be the local match for the city, which would enable us to do much more than the trails behind our center,” Bruning said.

Ogden acknowledged the recent and ongoing efforts to ban medical marijuana dispensaries as state law changes to accommodate and regulate them.

The City Council spent much of its winter session pursuing legal means to bar such facilities from opening within the city.

“Let me be clear, this is not a self-righteous ideal we are pursuing,” Ogden said. “This is a data-driven issue.”

He went on to say the city feared that easier access to marijuana would mean greater abuse by teenagers.

“It is a fact that teen brains are still developing, and marijuana use absolutely inhibits that brain development,” he said.

Reflecting the ongoing discussion in the City Council, Ogden said, “We need clear action by our state Legislature this session to ensure that ability in Oregon, where dozens of cities are pursuing similar local ordinances. To that end, we have introduced a bill to clarify that legal authority of local governments.”

The best way to address Tualatin’s achievements, perhaps, is by the numbers — and Ogden supplied them readily during his address.

He proudly reported public safety and emergency response statistics: 31,000 calls to the police department, 2,300 calls to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 34.

One TVF&R victory — for the second year in a row — against the Army Corps of Engineers, Portland office, in the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta.

The fire district’s successful launch of the PulsePoint smartphone app, which alerts CPR-certified users to medical emergencies in their vicinity. That app has seen nearly 6,800 downloads, Ogden reported.

An 83 percent rate of overall satisfaction reported by citizens who participated in a community-wide survey.

Civic participation: more than 1,800 volunteers giving 30,000 hours of their time.

He also noted career longevity at the local level: his 20 years as mayor, and 22 years on the City Council, where Councilor Ed Truax has served 14 years.

And, of course, Tualatin’s 100 years as an incorporated city.

“After all of the fun events over the past year, I feel like I turned 100,” Ogden quipped. “I’m still catching my breath from all the celebrations.”



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  • 21 Oct 2014

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