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Water plant project is not 'a good thing'


I am writing this in response to Mayor John Kovash’s commentary in last week’s paper (“Agreement is also a ‘big win’ for West Linn,” March 6).

It is well known that Mr. Kovash was a proponent of this project long before his “unbiased” land use decision last year, which sold West Linn and its codes to Lake Oswego-Tigard for a $5 million bribe. Now, like the proverbial snake oil salesman, he is continuing to try to sell the citizens his worthless product.

I have no doubt that the mayor felt the need to support his LOT cohorts in light of their recent examples of mismanagement, poor planning and incompetence. These have included a failure of the cofferdam built as part of the intake project on the Clackamas. There are now more questions surrounding this and other construction practices on that site that may be related to the failure of the nearby trestle bridge. Those infallible LOT “experts” seem to have missed a few things.

Then there was the issue of the sheet pile installation which damaged neighbors’ homes and was so unbearable in terms of noise and vibration that it made living in the neighborhood a virtual nightmare. Project Manager Joel Komerak suggested that if or when this happens again, maybe neighbors could plan to go to the library or go shopping. Perhaps Joel or John Kovash would want to trade homes with them during this “minor inconvenience.”

Also of note are the problems that have surfaced with finding a qualified contractor to handle the HDD (horizontal directional drilling) project under the Willamette, Mary S. Young and Oswego Lake. Apparently there is no one who will do this at anything close to the estimated cost. So now the mayor’s cohorts are scrambling to reroute the pipe around the lake and looking for other solutions to the river crossing. LO’s mayor has asked if West Linn would consider changing its land use regulations to accommodate this mismanagement.

The mayor thinks we should be thankful to this crew as they will be there for us when the big earthquake hits. This entire concept is not only illogical but is completely irresponsible. In fact, this plant is being built in the middle of a residential area where, in the event of a catastrophic quake, it will do considerably more damage than were it in an industrial area where it belongs. Excuse me if I am not comforted by these guys telling me it will be safe.

The bottom line is that this entire project has been a boondoggle from the beginning and is proving to be every bit as bad if not worse than predicted by those opposed to it. This project may be too big to stop, but don’t believe John Kovash when he tells you it is a good thing.

Scott Gerber is a resident of West Linn.