Council sets 2018 goals
Beaverton city councilors have set priorities for this year that largely continue work from last year.
Among the goals set by councilors Friday, Jan. 19, during their annual retreat at City Hall were reducing homelessness, encouraging lower-cost housing, and adding money for sidewalks and other public works improvements.
"I think you have a lot of consensus on what you are looking at," Council President Lacey Beaty said at the close of the session. "The list is not as narrow as you may have wanted."
But with a couple of exceptions, the top 10 items fall into a couple of broad categories — and six of them duplicate items on the 2017 list of priorities.
"It is important that (city) staff does not get the idea that all items have to get done in a certain time frame," Councilor Marc San Soucie said.
For housing, councilors outlined these priorities, in no particular order:
• Develop specific ways (in a tool kit) the city can encourage housing that is "affordable," which under federal definition is no more than 30 percent of median household income.
• Publicize services already available to prevent homelessness and promote recovery and support.
• Finalize rules governing the use of public spaces.
• Begin inspections of rental housing.
• Ensure that the city is the lead convenor on issues such as the five-year housing plan, which the council updated on Jan. 2.
Three other priorities focus on public works.
One is to increase the amount available for sidewalk improvements, which may be possible because of anticipated increases in the city's share of state fuel taxes and a new countywide vehicle registration fee.
Those sources are projected to generate $2 million more in the next budget year, although the higher fuel tax took effect Jan. 1 and the countywide vehicle registration fee will take effect at the start of the budget year on July 1. The money can be spent only for work in rights of way, including sidewalks.
The amounts would be in addition to a fund already earmarked in the mayor's office for sidewalk repairs.
Another is to integrate elements of the city's active transportation plan — laid out late last year for improvements in sidewalks, bicycle paths and traffic signals — into the city's plans for capital improvements and transportation systems, and into the city engineering design manual, which is now being revised.
A third is to activate the "purple pipe," which will deliver water for nonpotable uses to the South Cooper Mountain area in the southwest part of the city.
Other priorities are to set measurable goals for the city's diversity, equity and inclusion plan, and implement a new software system for Beaverton Municipal Court.
The "purple pipe," software system, and a couple of the housing items are new to the list this year.