Forming local improvement district too costly

Greetings Neighbors —

I wish to pique your interest by telling you that the cash amount of $1,000 plays a key role in what I have to share.

I'm writing in reply to the article in the October issue regarding our unimproved roads in the area (Paving the way for smoother streets, October 2013).

I live on the stretch of Southwest 41st Avenue shown in your photo. By way of disclosure, I am not an expert in local improvement districts (LID) or road construction. I did spend a considerable amount of time doing research about three years ago regarding what can be done under the terms of the LID. One of my calls to the city led me to a very patient and congenial fellow with a lot of information to share. Although he was a bit reluctant to "nail down" dollar figures for bringing my road to full modern standard (because estimates can vary so much), here's the financial reality: $1,000 per lineal foot of improvements.

My street frontage is 66 lineal feet, so my cost is about $66,000. But, here's the "kicker" — the $1,000 figure is for my side of the street. My neighbor across the street would also pay for her half, doubling the figure. This stretch of Southwest 41st is two blocks long. Tally the sum for all of the homeowners in a two-block stretch in your mind.

Do your readers really think I'm going to go up and down my street with my LID info and ask my neighbors for their vote to say, "yes" — to attach this lien on their property assessment? Even if the terms on the lien are for 20 years to pay, it's unreasonable.

If you think this "solution" for our Third World streets is reasonable, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

Gary Farrell


Citizen opposes sale of Freeman Tank

We are writing to you as concerned residents in regard to the recent “sale” of the Freeman water tank on Southwest 42nd Avenue.

This sale includes the water tower and the land behind it, which is home to a large number of animals and wildlife, including woodpeckers, coyotes, raccoons, songbirds, hummingbirds, owls and deer.

Our neighborhood doesn’t believe that this property was sold according to the rules and ordinances for the city of Portland (Ordinance 183952). The Freeman Tank property on Southwest 42nd Avenue and Freeman Street was sold to a developer for a sale price of $140,000, which is far below what fair market value would be for this area. In addition to this, no notification was provided to the neighborhood, or to the neighbors close by this land that there was an interested party that was looking to purchase and develop this area.

As a resident of this area, our family would love for this area to become protected so that it can be added to the existing Woods Park area and used by others as a connecting area to Woods Park. We want to keep public lands public, and not have the exploited by developers for their own financial gains.

We want to thank you for your time in reading this letter and hope that it can be shared with the community of Portland.

Karen McKibbin


Knocking down timber harvest proposal

Dear Mr. Garber,

You are dead wrong about timber harvesting (Timber harvests will benefit city, state, October 2013). The clear-cutting that is entailed in these proposals will poison our rivers, our farms, our salmon and our drinking water. The erosion that results in clear-cutting has proven to do everlasting harm.

The recreational losses will more than negate any short-term benefits of timber harvesting. Just think that the 5,000 jobs that are promised will only be temporary (a few years at best) whereas, our forest heritage will be lost for future generations.

Yesterday, the people who care about our heritage and environment turned out by the hundreds to protest to Sen. Wyden's stance on clear-cutting timber.

I urge you to study the pros and cons of clear-cutting timber and you will conclude that your editorial position is unsuppportable.

Howard Kornish


Southwest streets

Reading your article about improving unimproved roads (Paving the way for smoother streets, October 2013) in Southwest brought two issues I'd like to share.

First — we live on a such a street, one that the city will not maintain and does not recognize due to the fact that when our houses were built (mostly '70s) the developer did not follow city road requirements.

I have had a few conversations with a nice gentleman in the city transportation office and got the low-down on forming a LID. What I read in your article was not my understanding — at least where costs are concerned. According to the city, to bring our street up to code, we (each of us as homeowners) would have to spend $20,000 or so apiece.

I was told of other options: Because our street is already paved we are entitled to hiring our own contractor and making any improvements we want, without having to file for a permit.

I have already gotten bids from paving companies and am happy to report that to improve our little dead-end street (all 550 feet of it) will run us about $13,500 — about $850 per house. Much more attainable.

Second, since street maintenance is paid through taxes to gasoline, and most of the city's unimproved streets are in Southwest, why are we paying the same taxes as others, while we do not enjoy the same perks as city-maintained streets? We should get a tax refund!

Thanks Drew — keep up the good work.

Lisa De Graaf


Questions? Comments? Submit letters to the editor to Lead Reporter Drew Dakessian via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or online at

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