Now that the budget for the OHSU aerial tram is out, people are starting to focus on the $30 million question, Who's going to pay to build it?
Nearby landowner Jay Zidell, one of the Crown Princes of Old Money Portland, thinks the $2.1 million tab his family's going to have to pungle up, as part of the proposed local improvement district, is too high. Normally, guys like that would just pick up the phone and call You-Know-Who to get that sort of thing fixed. But Y-K-W isn't answering right now, so Mr. Zidell's complaining publicly in today's Oregonian business section. (Via AboutItAll Oregon.)
Finally, Mr. Zidell and I have something in common. I think my share's going to be too big, too. I'm interested in seeing how much "urban renewal" (read, citywide property tax) money is in the construction budget. Whatever my share is, it's too much.
In that regard, I'm trying to get my hands on the new tram budget itself, which was aired before the City Council the other day. Does anybody have a link to that, or are they keeping it off the internet so that none of us little people can complain about it? Perhaps mayor-wannabe Jim Francesconi, who sits on the tram board of directors along with Mr. Zidell, could shoot me a copy.
Meanwhile, for comic relief, you can read architecture dandy Randy Gragg's latest gushing column about this monstrosity here. Randy's black turtleneck, raspberry beret, and groovy goatee have never seen a pork project they didn't like. He must be the nephew of one of the Oregonian executives that they even have a job for him. Here's his latest:
Since at least the Middle Ages, humans have understood that the fastest, easiest way to travel between the top of a mountain and the bottom is on a rope.
» Tram Tram Tram Went The Folly from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
As we write this, we are watching the live webcast of the Portland City Council's consideration of various aspects of the South Waterfront development, including a large focus on the aerial tram to Oregon Health Sciences University. It's the sort of th... [Read More]