They’re a clever lot, these Lake Oswegans. This LOT group, leading the campaign to expand Lake Oswego’s water treatment plant in West Linn is a good example. They have come up with a clever scheme to underwrite the costs of water in their city and pass the costs along to others, in this case handing off a big chunk of the costs and all of the inconvenience, environmental and safety risks and property value encumbrances to the citizens of West Linn and the good people in the neighborhood where the plant is located. Lake Oswego has a suitable site for locating a water treatment plant in the Foothills section of their own city. But, they also have a “sweet deal,” an existing water treatment plant located in a residential neighborhood in West Linn that could be expanded to provide far more treated water than their city will ever require in the foreseeable future if the expansion is allowed. If LOT could persuade the good people of West Linn to allow them to expand that plant then they would be free to put the site in their Foothills section back on the tax rolls and sell the excess high-quality water they can process in the West Linn plant at market prices to surrounding communities essentially in perpetuity — a steady income stream to subsidize Lake Oswego water users. How cool is that? Wow! What a sweet deal! West Linn gets nothing, but has to bear the costs of environmental and safety infrastructure to support the plant. West Linn has to bear all the future expenses associated with moving heavy trucks carrying industrial materials and chemicals to service the plant on residential streets. West Linn residents bear all the long-term costs and inconvenience and receive nothing, nada, nyet, in return.

Peter Lang

West Linn

Contract Publishing

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