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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hold onto your wallets, Portlanders

Here's a transaction that worries us: The City of Portland is doing some of its world-famous planning around its sewage treatment plant off Highway 43 in Lake Oswego. They're about to award a $750,000 consulting contract to CH2M Hill to revise the "facilities plan" for the plant, officially known as the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

What's scary is that the plant is located near the "Foothills" property, where Homer Williams and Dike Dame are planning to build their latest "mixed use" condo bunkers -- the ones that the infernal streetcar is designed to sell. And Dame is already on record as saying that the sewage treatment facility will have to be shipped out. Then you look at the bid documents for the consulting contract and read passages like these:

Combine the information contained in the furnished Wastewater Collection System Master Plan Update and Technical Memoranda into a draft section of the Facilities Plan Update that addresses existing collection system conditions with an emphasis on system deficiencies that contribute peak flows to the TCWTP as a result of system Infiltration and Inflow (I/I)....

Evaluate existing physical condition of the plant and identify projects that are required to bring the plant to reliable condition.

Wait -- all of a sudden it's not "reliable"? Sounds like the decision has already been made to make some serious changes.

Why do we get the sneaking suspicion that tons of Portland sewer bill revenues are going to be spent to make Williams and Dike a boatload of money?

Comments (15)

Try not to forget LO City would love to get rid/decommission that sewer treament plant also.

Get ready for them to roll out the compelling need for a new sewage treatment plant. You know those things are not good for the kids.

This might be a bigger money pit than SoWa if it goes to plan.

This is only this tip of the iceburg folks. Sewer bills at 6%-7% increases...forever will be a thing of the past. Hold onto your wallets and reserve a U-Haul soon.

This topic needs to move to the mainstream media and wide public participation in the discussion. Sewers and storm water are consuming a huge piece of everyone's money. Clean rivers but at what price? For what benefit? Now it's being decided by politicians and bureaucrats according to their agenda (and Dike/Dame, et al).

Before you can send in the bulldozers and building cranes to build your dream society, you have to get the current residents to clear out, any way you can. And in today's devious financial world, the dollar does this much better than lynch mobs or whole armies for that matter because it's much easier to get away with.

I just looked this up on Google Earth.

It's all coming into focus now... that facility is sited on prime riverfront real estate between central Lake Oswego and Dunthorpe and is standing in the way of a some developer.

They're about to award a $750,000 consulting contract to CH2M Hill for $200,000 in unnecessary work.

No need for bags of money when public policies can deliver the cash.

So just the INITIAL planning costs $750k. That's just the start.

Now think about how much the decommissioning/building a new treatment plant will cost (located on expensive, newly purchased land of course).

I take it you guys saw the O article this morning about how the new park land by the cemetery down there is being purchased with a huge chunk of sewer money. The endless stream of blatant, unquestioned illegality would almost be funny if it didn't cost me so much.

Does no ticked-off constituency have the money for a lawyer? Is there no unemployed lawyer in town who wants to make a name for him/herself by taking this on? If anyone out there is looking for a class action suit, I'm one member! You can keep my full award as compensation.

Hey things getting much worse.

They chewed through $120 million in planning the CRC and produced a design that can't be used.

Imgine the "profit margin" for all those involved in the $120 million public investment".

High fives and drinks at El Goucho's to plan the exotic tropical golf excursion.

This b*llsh*t is coming so fast and furious now it makes me wonder if our elected officials are using the down economy to hold residents and underwater homeowners hostage while they smash-and-grab whatever they can.

This behavior could get even more brazen as the end of their terms of office nears and they run out of time.

I've got a water bill in front of me.
Just over $900.
$54.00 is for the water and sewer.

Given that Portland will never be Detroit, no matter what you do, because it's in a far, far, more desirable location.

Step 1: Get rid of the current residents using any excuse or reason up to the very limit of the law - feel free to test that limit cautiously at first and if met with no resistance continue pushing it.
Step 2: Secure financing from favorite lenders.
Step 3: Demolish and remove existing structures and infrastructure.
Step 4: Get to work building the dream commnunity!
Step 5: Marketing and advertising!

Mr. Grumpy,
Sounds like a plausible track you have covered here.
While they are dismantling our once beloved "City of Roses", I see it too, all kinds of ways to go about this.
The citizens who gave the infrastructure to their community and cared for it, will be backed up to having to leave.
Will add
Step 6: Abuse the democratic process so badly that if they cannot get rid of people through "financial wizardry", people will leave as thoroughly disgusted as they will not tolerate living in such abuse. Life is too short to be under the plans and control of some making a fool out of the rest of the people.

The current waste water treatment plant is fine. The only reasons to expand or replace it is to 1)accommodate the anticipated flood of residents that will fill the new condos built at Foothills, and 2)because Williams/Dame want it gone.

Where would they put a new facility that won't disturb or displace existing residents? This isn't something that you can just slip onto a residential lot after all. Currently the treatment plant is in a light industrial zone -- just about perfect siting for its use.

I'd also lie to know what happened to the landscape design plans that were developed to make the plant gorgeous? http://greenworkspc.wordpress.com/portfolio/waterwastewater/6310_tryon-creek-path_green-wall/

Hold onto your cookies -- here is the latest buzz in LO. Hwy 43 from LO to Portland is being studied for a new bike path. The concern is that a bike path will take out a lane of traffic on this narrow, 3-lane road. As congestion worsened on Hwy 43, streetcar backers (and developers Williams/Dame)would then point out the obvious fact that a streetcar would be a great option for travel in this corridor.

Since the beginning of this fight, critics have been saying that the streetcar is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Traffic counts on Hwy 43 have actually gone DOWN in the last 10 years. I guess one of the ways to put a hole in that balloon is to not wait, but create a problem that a streetcar would solve. Opportunities for a BRT or some form of express bus system would be pretty much gone with only one lane going North and one lane going South. I think a bike path would be nice too, but not in this location and not one that would impede auto traffic.

This part is interesting and depressing. Hwy 43 is a state roadway. The road in this stretch goes through both Clackamas and Multnomah counties. The bulk of the road is located in Multnomah County, but the planning is being done by Clackamas County. Why you ask? The assumption is that Lynn Peterson (former Tri-Met traffic planner and Clack. Co. Chairman) might be pulling some strings at her new job in the governor's office to get her her old friends and cronies in Clackamas Co. involved.

Better yet, the consulting contract to flesh out the job is CH2M Hill - same group that is evaluating the waste water treatment plant.

There is a public meeting next week to show the plans for the bike path. There hasn't been much, if any, publicity about this, but the meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 24, from 5:30 - 7:00 pm at the West End Building (4101 Kruse Way, LO.). After putting this online, I am willing to bet that the consultants and political/bureaucratic hacks will be there in force to stomp on every criticism and counter with a rosy, sickeningly sweet response that is designed to dodge the hard issues and keep the ball in play.

We are exhausted in LO -- the fight is far from over and there seem to be a lot of wildfires popping up that threaten to undo whatever progress we make. Help is needed. This is our state highway and our money -- we should be pulling the strings here, not the elected class or the construction/developer complex.

That is precisely what they've been doing here in Portland since the mid 90's... deliberately engineering congestion and restricted mobility, then pointing to it as a problem that needs to be solved.

And let me guess... each time a transit related 'problem' is discovered, federal funding becomes available.

Mr. Grumpy,
You really seem to have it down about what is going on here in Portland.
Federal Funding may be all that is left for them after they have nickel and dimed us.
I see quite a few pushes by the city around here that "smell" of federal funding for it.

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