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Monday, January 7, 2013

Bioswales from hell

Here's an interesting item from this Wednesday's Portland City Council agenda. It's city taxpayers picking up half the tab from a 41% cost overrun on the installation of some sort of "stormwater management system" at Tri-Met's Barbur Boulevard transit center. According to the proposed city ordinance, the original plan was for the project to cost $590,000, and all be paid for by the state Transportation Department. In addition, there was an $85,000 contingency budget, split evenly between the state and the city.

But shockingly, the planners underestimated what the project was going to entail, and now they say it will cost another $155,000, over and above the original budget and contingency. And so city taxpayers get to pungle up another $77,500. If the deal winds up costing more than the new budget of $830,000, supposedly any additional will come from the state. In the end, the city is on the hook for $120,000.

And what is Tri-Met paying for these improvements to its facility? Nothing, apparently. Oh, it's providing "management services." That's nice.

When you throw in all the design, "planning," and other yada yada, it's going to cost nearly $1.2 million to equip that transit station with bioswales. And you wonder why your taxes and sewer bills are so high.

Comments (16)

Hey those Bio-Swindles are working just fine, filtering tax money down the drain...

That's some expensive mud. Imagine what the Greenies' Global Warming Repair is going to cost.


Is TriMet the most shady agency around?

Look at the pages of employees attributed to PMLR and being paid with borrowed capital projects money. I don't buy it at all.


A whole boat load of employees are being attributed to Milwaukie Light Rail.
Paid for with capital projects revenue?

On page 258 it shows TriMet had to budget 39.8 million in interim financing for Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail to cover requirements.

No wonder TriMet insisted Clackamas County accelerate the $20 payment. TriMet expected it and needed or or they would have to borrow it.

Page 225 and look at all the staff supposedly assigned to Milwaukie Light Rail.

People have long suspected TriMet was using Light rail/capital projects funding to pay for a lot of their operations/employees who seldom, if at all, work on any light rail.

Who would ever check?

To justify their own borrowing & federal match funding Tri-Met cooks up some wild future financial projections.
It seems TriMet looks at future revenues based on the assumptions that both the South West Light Rail and the CRC light rail will be completed, thereby increasing the ridership and the revenues of the system. Further, they anticipate expansion of the light rail system results in lower unit costs, thereby making the existing light rail look a lot cheaper.

It goes on and on.

How did these incompetent planners get hired? And stay hired?

Don't tell me they "know" somebody!

Would be interesting to see the resume/education of some of these "planners."

All of these bioswale cost overruns have to be funded, completed, and "forgotten" before lying about the Barbur Blvd MAX costs.

It goes on and on.

Not for too much longer. The cash flow issue's going to hit the fan pretty soon.

"Not for too much longer."

And now we have yet another reason why Sam Adams was in such a hurry to get out. If he's found another job yet, he'd best hope that it's in another state, or preferably a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US.

Sounds like we'll soon be seeing the pitch for another "arts tax", or maybe a "music tax", or maybe a "puppy tax", all for the children of course.

It goes on and on.

All the way up to and including the White House,
the word accountability seems to have laid down,
been beaten down. Passes have given in so many arenas
that they seem to be accepted somehow and for some
in order to survive they have just gone along, it is the way
these days apparently, "enough are doing it" excuse.
The big pass of all is to the rule of law and to our constitution.

Next, a "livability" tax!

Bioswale is code for "a ditch with native plants in it". But we can't just dig a ditch and let stuff grow there willy nilly. We need to "plan" and "permit" and "engineer" and "construct" a ditch with plants in it.

It's sooo green! Using federal gas tax money.

Tigard to begin construction on 'green street' project

In reality it is all a foolish and ugly waste of money by planners and Metro who are misappropriating millions.


If Metro didn't promote these projects, what would be the justification for their funds and continuing existence? Is Metro really needed anymore? In my view, their dictates and plans have made the imprint they wanted.
We need a breather.

Do we have to worry about mosquitos breeding in the bioswales. Seems like a perfect environment for the critters.

Please stop exporting this nonsense to other parts of the country. Cincinnati, OH is trying to build a streetcar, and now they're talking about spending over $100k on one of Randy's stupid toilets: http://cincinnati.com/blogs/politics/2013/01/08/these-arent-your-everyday-public-potties/

The midwest is supposed to have more sense than this, and is being taken in by Portland "weird".

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