Urban renewal is progressing here in Troutdale. Thanks to the voters, in addition to being a Troutdale City Councilor, I'm also a Troutdale Urban Renewal Agency Commissioner. Wow, a politician's two-fer.
City staff is currently in negotiations with Chelsea Group, operators of the Troutdale Outlet Mall, and Eastwind, aka Junki Yoshida. Under consideration are the usual items: who is going to pay for what, and when are they going to pay for it. (Gotta love my highly technical explanation of what's being negotiated!)
Also coming up for consideration is a new Parks Master Plan, currently going through the channels of Troutdale's fine committees. This week it's the Planning Commission's turn to meet and greet the new plan.
Also coming up is the controversial condo development next to Troutdale's Sedona neighborhood. The good folks living in Sedona don't want the city to allow the condo development for a number of reasons.
Since this issue will probably come before the Troutdale City Council in a quasi-judicial manner, I have purposely kept myself away from the finer points of this issue until such time as it appears before the City Council. I want to be as objective as possible when the time comes.
Meanwhile, at the last Troutdale City Council meeting, I voted in favor of giving the Troutdale Historical Society $10,000 with a potential future match appropriation of another $35,000 for the construction of a Troutdale Gateway Arch in honor of Troutdale's Centennial next year.
I was on the fence about public funding of this arch. I have never been a fan of publicly funded art. Also, given Troutdale's precarious budget condition, I wondered if this was a good use of scarce city dollars.
However, I decided to vote yes because the Troutdale Historical Society's members have a proven track record of quietly getting things done. I have the fullest confidence in the ability of the Historical Society to create a fine gateway arch that every Troutdale citizen can be proud of.
Budget Considerations like this have been on my mind constantly since the Multnomah County Commissioners recently voted to eventually stop giving Troutdale its share of the Multnomah County business tax. This cut by Multnomah County is going to cause Troutdale a lot of financial pain. A LOT of pain.
Lastly folks, please be careful in the water. I've heard too many sirens and have seen too many emergency vehicles headed down to the Sandy River every summer. We all know what is going on when the sirens head to the river- Tragedy.
Kudos to the Troutdale Boosters for funding lifeguards at Glen Otto Park. They have saved many, many lives over the years.
Please be careful! The water is ice cold, the Sandy river is swifter and more powerful than it looks, and you can get into trouble fast.