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Friday, July 21, 2006

More city money for SoWhat

The Portland Development Commission meeting next week will continue the generous heaping of taxpayer pork into the fiscal black hole known as the South Waterfront ("SoWhat"). Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but there are all kinds of millions floating around in the new SoWhat documents that I hadn't heard of before. For example:

-- Another $4 million for the SoWhat park (already well north of $7 million spent).

-- $6 million for the greenway, a third of which comes out of the Parks Bureau budget.

-- $18.7 million to coax the Usual Suspects to build "affordable" housing down there.

-- $3.5 million of city money into an "initiative" to try to get OHSU to bring bioscience jobs into the area (which I thought was what they promised to do all along).

-- $3 million "in transportation infrastructure contingency to cover unanticipated shortfalls in transportation projects." (Is this to buy the shuttle buses, or is this for when the aerial tram budget [rim shot], now at $57 million, goes up by another $10 million or more?)

Portland taxpayers, plan a big lunch for next Wednesday. You'll be feeling a little lighter late in the morning.

Comments (1)

I thought OHSU was bringing Nano science to SoWaht, not Bio-Science?

UPS is set to deliver $3.5 Million worth of Nano in a suitcase any business day up to 4:PM.

Its Tram-Portable ya see!

Posted by: Abe at July 21, 2006 04:29 PM

PDC--a public sector Enron.

Posted by: Ken Lay at July 21, 2006 05:05 PM

Now, now -- they're under new management. I still have hopes that they'll come around.

But first, Vera Katz is going to make a speech on Wednesday. Egad.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 21, 2006 05:20 PM

New management?

Kohler's replacement is an Kohler clone. Fer cryin' out loud, he's been an underling there since 1979!

There is NO new management at OHSU. It's just the same ol' thang. Or, as Talking Heads would sing..."Same as it ever was."

Posted by: godfry at July 21, 2006 05:59 PM

Er, we're talking about PDC, not OHSU. Although that Wilhoite guy is on both boards, hmmmmm...

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 21, 2006 06:12 PM

You might find yourself in the middle of a bankrupt city
and you might find yourself riding on an aerial tram
and you might tell yourself, "This is not my dream Portland",
and you might ask yourself, "My God, what have they done?"

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 21, 2006 06:13 PM

You might be Sam Adams on Vitoria Taft asking her "why she hates Portland".
Seems he didn't like and had no answers for her probbing and crtiqing questions about these very issues.
That seems to be a canned response public officials use.

$4 million for the SoWhat park is coming not from TIF but from the Park Bureau budget becasue TIF is way short.

The $6 million for the greenway is a bandaid on a soaring greenway cost with later phase TIF dollars being quickly devoured today right along other with Park money.

The $18.7 million for "affordable" housing down there will deliver the least amount of sort of affordable housing units for the greatest possible cost and the PDC will NEVER tabulate the total subsidy.

The $3.5 million for "OHSU to bring bioscience jobs into the area" is a back room payoff for their greater share of the Tram cost. Along with many more millions channeled OHSU's way during the Tram "negotiations".

The $3 million "in transportation infrastructure contingency to cover unanticipated shortfalls in transportation projects" comes from the PDOT budget and is a direct counter for a previous diverting of $3.5 million from SoWa street improvement money to pay OHSU another Tram negotiation payment. This one was supposedly Cash now for future parking spaces.

The Tram costs willcertainly rise and the ciy will simply place some costs in other categories and call it the same.

There is no genuine and complete SoWa budget avaialbe as the PDC is covering up their activities and expenditures.

Posted by: Steve Schopp at July 21, 2006 07:14 PM

so much for "new" management...
I'm glad I'm out of town for the summer.

Posted by: anne at July 21, 2006 08:30 PM

"same as it ever was," Bill.

Stop making sense.

Posted by: Frank Dufay at July 22, 2006 04:10 AM

has the city of portland studied what overzealous condo construction in a rising interest rate environment did to the cities in southern florida?? I thought they enjoyed feasability studies

Posted by: gl at July 22, 2006 01:53 PM

Here are some additions/correction to add to the PDC "gimmies" of Amendment 8 to the North Macadam Agreement that's before City Council this week.

The greenway is "projected" (we know what that means) to cost $40M through NM, so the $6M is for some more planning dollars and a "temporary greenway trail" (asphalt) through only the central portion of NM-about 1500 ft. of the over 1 mile of greenway trail planned.

The "initiative" to try to get OHSU biotech jobs in NM is over $18.5M in taxpayer dollars according to the proposed new 5 year budget, in addition to the $3.5M.

Transportation projects in NM are under/unfunded by over $120M in the proposed 5 year budget-could be even much higher since the budget doesn't even put dollar amounts for most transportation projects.

Block 49 is being bought by PDC for over $5.2M for affordable housing when same block sold for $1.5M a year ago. All this done without an appraisal. Who benefits?-Homer Williams, and Dames/Williams even gets exclusive rights to build project without public bidding-all in Amendment 8. And the taxpayers even pays for the toxic site cleanup.

The taxpayer shaft items continue.

Posted by: Jerry at July 25, 2006 09:28 AM

It should be noted that the $40M Greenway Trail is generally unfunded in the 5 year proposed budget. Like Jack notes $2M of the intial $6M is coming from the general Parks Bureau budget, and that is just for some more planning and a "temporary" asphalt trail through the central area of 1000 ft. along the Willamette of over a mile long future trail.

Remember that the Greenway was sold as the "linchpin" to the North Macadam project to justify the increase in density by over six times and building heights to 325ft. The taxpayers had to accept the over $700M dollar tax bill (including financing cost) for NM because we are getting a Greenway Trail (which is required by State and City Statutes anyway).

Posted by: Jerry at July 25, 2006 09:50 AM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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