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Council focused on benefits at citizens' cost

Mayor Kovash submitted a letter in last weeks’ West Linn Tidings that failed to recognize several important facts.

The first is that this (water plant) project does not save our city $20 million. He cites the IGA (intergovernmental agreement) that allows both West Linn and Lake Oswego to utilize the intertie in cases of water shortages. We already have this intertie. Both cities have each used it seven times in the last 10 years and it will continue to be a shared benefit.

Our planning commission seems to have understood this is nothing new and treated it accordingly but our mayor acts like it is a new benefit that will save us millions of dollars.

LOT needs this intertie as much as we do and we have a contract guaranteeing both parties continued use requiring a long notice period if one side wants to cancel the agreement.

The $5 million one-time payment for the right of way does give us money but hardly enough to offset the costs to the city incurred by this project of 50 years including loss of tax revenue, loss of use of the right of way and the terrible burden placed on businesses and homeowners in our city.

Our “connectivity to 53 million (gallons) of water storage” fails to take in delivery issues, which makes this water difficult to access.

This is a new plant and being “hardened” is good but who in their right mind would build a major utility in a earthquake Red Zone? What about the pipeline? The plant has 1,000 pilings that protect it from moving but there is no support for the miles-long pipeline going into the plant under residents’ homes. 

Our planning commission looked at the facts and determined there were numerous code violations in this project but our city council, led by our mayor who (may have) perjured himself, chose to ignore the codes and focused exclusively on a few supposed benefits to the detriment of their citizens and the livability of this great city.

Lamont King is a resident of West Linn.




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