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City council ignores negative impacts of water plant expansion

The West Linn City Council’s unanimous approval of Lake Oswego’s water treatment plant expansion will have not only a very negative effect on the immediate neighborhood but also on all of the West Linn businesses along Highway 43 north of its junction with Hidden Springs Road. That will be caused by major disruption of Highway 43 during trenching for the installation of an excessively large pipeline of 4 feet in diameter to run between West Linn and Lake Oswego.

This is another council action in a long list that demonstrates how reprehensible a city council we have when it comes to deliberately not serving the best interests of West Linn. In this case they callously ignored the impacts on those who will be so negatively affected.

The ruling council majority follows Mayor Kovash who I see as egotistical and wrong-headed who in turn follows the lead of City Manager Chris Jordan. They’re firmly entrenched. We can’t get rid of them short of recall or changing the form of city government.

Kovash, in his Feb. 28 Tidings column, engages in multiple gross fabrications not in accord with the facts.

First he talks as if the emergency water intertie we have with Lake Oswego is a result of a recent collaboration with Lake Oswego. That’s not true. That intertie pump station in West Linn was constructed in early 2001 on Old River Road near its intersection with Mapleton. Originally, two pumps were installed with room for a third. That third pump should have been installed recently. With only two pumps, it had a tested full capacity (both pumps running) of 4,500 GPM (gallons per minute), or 6.48 million gallons per day, when pumping uphill to the Bolton Reservoir. With a third pump installed, it should have a full capacity of about 6,000 GPM or about 8.64 million gallons per day. So Kovash engages in stating an incorrect figure of only 4 million gallons per day for the pumping capacity of the intertie.

He also engages in massive baloney when he or some surrogate who writes for him fabricates a story of what would be a supposed calamitous situation for West Linn without the intertie. He spins a yarn that without the intertie West Linn would have to double the size of its reservoir to 8 million gallons and construct a water main under the Willamette. He should be given an Academy Award for spinning tall tales. He goes on to top it off by claiming the intertie will save West Linn ratepayers around $20 million and that our water bills would have to almost double to raise that much money.

The fact that puts the lie to all of this is that there was an ability for Lake Oswego, for years, to supply West Linn water in an emergency even before the intertie pump station was installed and none of the dire consequences occurred that Kovash claims would occur without the intertie pump station that exists today. The intertie pump station increased the water delivery rate that Lake Oswego can supply us and provides the added ability for West Linn to supply Lake Oswego water during a Lake Oswego emergency.

There isn’t room here to discredit all of the other fabrications Kovash engages in within the rest of his column.

Bob Thomas is a resident of West Linn.



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