City Hall Update: Timbers' stadium expansion plan OK'd
The Portland Timbers' plan to expand Providence Park was approved by the City Council on Wednesday.
Peregrine Sports is expected to pay $50 million to add up to 4,000 seats to the downtown stadium. The city will pay about $3 million for system repair and replacement and other costs.
The council also agreed in June to waive about $5 million in ticket tax revenue over the next 10 years to help offset the project costs. When the project is finished, the additional seats could generate up to
$5 million in additional tax revenue.
The sports company owns both the Timbers and the Portland Thorns women's soccer team. Although a provision in the agreement allows the company to sell the Thorns, in response to a question from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, President Mike Golub assured the council there are no plans to do so.
Public campaign financing again?
Despite the fact that Portland will start a new public campaign financing program in 2019, a prospective initiative petition for another one was filed city election officials last week.
The program sponsored by Commissioner Amanda Fritz and approved by the City Council last December would provide public financing for candidates who agree to cap contributions at $250 and total spending at $20,000 in the primary and general elections.
The potential ballot measure allows for public campaign financing but also caps private contributions at $500 and prohibits any other funds from being spent on a city campaign. It is supported by activists Ron Buel and B. Elizabeth Trojan.
A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge is currently considering whether county campaign contribution limits are legal.
Adaptive BIKETOWN will return
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is calling its Adaptive BIKETOWN pilot project a success. The extension of the city's bike share program will return May 1.
Fifty-nine adaptive bikes for people with disabilities were rented during the 14 weeks between July 21 and Oct. 31. Sixty-eight percent qualified for a discount because of their conditions, 53 percent said it was their first time riding an adaptive bike, two-thirds said they rode in a group, and 76 percent said they live in the Portland region.
The bikes were rented by Kerr Bikes, which is owned by Albertina Kerr, a nonprofit organization that helps people with challenges and disabilities reach their full potential.