I would like to support and comment on the Lake Oswego-Tigard water treatment plant project from several perspectives.

I have been a resident of the Robinwood neighborhood since 1974, and for the first eight years I owned a home on Kenthorpe Way directly opposite the water treatment plant. I have a great bunch of neighbors in the area and one of the best was the treatment plant itself. It was quiet, friendly, attractive and a great place for my daughters to play. The all-hours attendant and lighting gave us a sense of security.

The planned enlargement should continue those qualities as well as improving the park-like area and perhaps providing much needed public access from Kenthorpe to Mapleton for pedestrians.

It dismays me to see so much negativity from the neighborhood about the project to enlarge the capacity to serve neighboring cities. The provision of potable water is one of the most important functions of local government. I am a professional civil engineer with a career in water resources, and a MBA with studies in real estate.

One of the reasons we initially moved to Kenthorpe Way was because of the plant (once I learned this “industrial” facility was merely a fresh water treatment plant and not a sewerage plant). I believe residents’ concern about property values are misplaced.

I believe the opposition is well intended but misinformed about the true effects of the project. For example, I now live on Ridgewood Way, and not long ago, the city of West Linn replaced the main waterline in front of my house. I never lost access to my driveway and the impact on us was minimal, as will be the larger pipeline the city wants to build for the enlarged plant.

The best thing the neighborhood could do to improve immediate impact on property values is to remove the ugly signs of opposition. Remember, construction is temporary and the real estate is long term. And it would not hurt to improve relationships with our city neighbors. We may need their reciprocal cooperation some day.

Jack Smith is a resident of West Linn.

Contract Publishing

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