Mar 14, 2012

Home Forward (aka Portland Housing Authority) Offered To Help Troutdale Build A New City Hall

CONDEMNED: Troutdale City Hall
 A representative of Home Forward (the new name of the Portland Housing Authority) told the City of Troutdale's Economic Development Subcommittee that because Home Forward can issue its own tax exempt bonds, it  "has the means to build Troutdale a new City Hall if it includes affordable housing above it."

On its web site, Home Forward brags, "Home Forward is a public corporation with the ability to function like a private real estate developer."

According to the minutes of the February 28, 2012 Troutdale City Council Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting, Betty Dominguez, Policy and Planning Program Director for Home Forward said,

"Home Forward can issue its own tax exempt bonds. Examples of where this has been done are Rosa Parks School and the New Columbia housing project in North Portland. Ms. Dominguez stated that because of its authority to issue tax exempt bonds, her agency has the means to build Troutdale a new City Hall if it includes affordable housing above it. She said this might be a good opportunity for a public/private partnership if we applied the tax exempt bonds and other financing tools to help us build a new city hall with a couple floors of work force housing."

Later  in the meeting, the minutes indicated, "Ms. Dominguez responded that she was only bringing up City Hall replacement because she knows we have to move out of the current City Hall building, but she would be happy to talk to us about whatever type of use we want."

Troutdale City Manager Craig Ward stated at the meeting that the biggest issue with this offer would be financing because the City has no money to contribute to the project without a voter-approved bond measure.

Getting Troutdale voters to approve a bond measure for a new City Hall would indeed be a difficult task, according to a January 28, 2012 informal poll on the Troutdale, Oregon Facebook page (which is NOT affiliated with the City of Troutdale). Take a look at the resounding "No Way!!" comments:

  •  Why dont Gresham-Fairview-Troutdale and Woodvillage all get together and share a building/buildings and services? Major redundancy in such a small area. Understanding of coarse that it would take time and probably be done is phases. But the savings would be huge to taxpayers from the area over time!

    • No, make better use of our already paid tax dollars.

  •  Yes - the Troutdale I want to raise my family in is better than the kind of city that is stuck with a crumbling and/or condemned city hall. I am paying for a new police station, and would be happy to help pay my share for a quality modern city hall building.

  • NOPE.

  •  If Troutdalians do, they should consider using in-state companies & workers this time

  •  Not until the other 6 bond measures that we are already paying for, are paid off. It is a huge problem in our city and country that we keep doing things we can't afford.

  • No

  •  No new taxes. I don't care what it is for.
    •  Not as long as there are all of the empty buildings around. City hall can move into the Thriftway space, either one, until the economy is better, folks are working, and we can better afford the bill. Then, it is imperative that the city gets its head out of it's *(( and hire local workers and contractors.

  •  If I were still living there I would oppose with all the other empty buildings previously stated. Also, being a renter, our family notices the price increase with increased property tax and other services.

  • No way.

  •  No way. They should use the meeting space available in the new police station. I'll support another building project in Troutdale after the existing bonds are paid off.

  • I know alot of people are trying to keep up with the taxes and expenses in a troubled economy and live on a tight budget. I have to agree with most of the comments above....especially paying off the bonds before burdening our community with new ones.

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