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POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Amanda Fritz Blog
$20 million "for bike projects from sewer rates"? - Printable Version - March 16, 2010 - 18 Comments

Update 4/2/10 - More information here

 

Last Wednesday, I asked Mayor Adams to remove the emergency clause from the ordinance directing funding for Green Streets in the Bureau of Environmental Services, to allow more time for me to sort out the facts in the issue.  Here's what I found out.

 

See also additional, new information posted later in the comments section.

(Added 3/18/10 at 7:17 p.m.)

 

1.  How did we find "a spare $20 million"?

 

This is about half the savings identified by the Office of Management and Finance, from Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) construction contracts coming in under the budgeted amount in the past two years.  The savings are because companies are competing for scarce construction jobs and bidding close to cost to keep their workers employed; because our Purchasing Department does a great job of seeking competitive bids; and because BES does excellent work in budgeting, project management and cost containment.  

 

 

2. What is being proposed?

 

Mayor Adams proposes to use some of the savings for more Green Street projects, rather than using it for other projects on the BES Capital Improvement Projects list.  He states Council has authority on policy, which the bureau then implements with projects.  There are competing policies in this matter, and Council direction is needed and appropriate to affirm which policies should receive prioritization.

 

 

3.  How much $20 million does translate into, for the average residential ratepayer on their bill? 

 

Answer:  7.5 cents per month, or 90 cents for the year.

 

(Added 3/18/10 1 p.m. - this is for the average residential customer.  Thanks to Michael in the comments for pointing out this omission).

 

For some citizens, that may be the end of the debate, right there.  Twenty million dollars is a lot of money.  Ninety cents for the total one-time, one-year burden on the average ratepayer is not much money.  Still, I kept digging.

 

 

4.  What are the choices for that money? 

  • Return it to ratepayers, or use it to decrease the increase in rates in the next fiscal year
  • Apply it to pay off BES debt service (loans borrowed to fund projects)
  • Spend it on green street projects per Mayor Adams's plan
  • Spend it on projects added to/moved up the sewer construction list when the budget showed funds available

 

5.  How many jobs does $20 million create, and is there any significant difference between the number of jobs on a green street project and the number on a hard sewer project?

 

Answer: About 280 jobs, likely not much difference in the number between green and hard projects.  Some of the jobs are new, some preservation of current jobs.  BES works diligently and is particularly successful in employing local companies and promote minority, women, and emerging small business hiring.  The green streets jobs may provide a wider range of opportunities for these demographic groups, since green streets projects include landscaping, nursery supplies, and simple surface construction such as backhoe work.  Piped projects may be more specialized, heavy construction work.

 

 

Answers 4 and 5 led me to a turning point. Yes, there is a principle involved, and some say the savings should be returned to the ratepayers. I believe most Portlanders if asked whether they would rather have 90 cents returned to them for the year, or help to create 280 family-wage jobs during a recession, would opt for the jobs.  Particularly, if the jobs are providing infrastructure improvements in neighborhoods.

 

So having decided the money should be used on BES projects that generate jobs, I looked into concerns that the money is being mis-directed to Transportation projects, not BES projects on stormwater or sewer infrastructure.

 

 

6.  Are the proposed projects paying for paving and striping for bicycle projects, using BES sewer rate money for Transportation bureau projects?

 

No. Green Street projects provide facilities like vegetated stormwater drainage areas such as planted curb extensions and roadside drainage swales (i.e., vegetated ditches) in the right-of-way. These surface structures have the side-effect of slowing traffic and providing opportunities to stripe bike lanes and safety boxes, but that is not their purpose, and not the use of the sewer rate funding. This money will not be used for funding off-road facilities like trails.  It will not be used for traffic signals or pavement-widening.

 

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) money will be used for bicycle amenities on Green Streets that are not connected with the stormwater facilities. Mayor Adams set aside $1 million in the Alternative Transportation fund in 2009-10, and this money will be used. Further, the Bicycle Master Plan set up a Task Force to assess and address issues of funding the facilities called for in the plan.

 

 

 7.  What will the sewer rate money fund?

 

Vegetated stormwater facilities in streets.  The proposal is to look at all the streets BES has identified as potential Green Streets, cross-reference with those identified as Bike Boulevards in the Bicycle Master Plan, and expedite Green Street stormwater improvements on the streets identified in both plans.  This does what we have been calling on bureaus to do - work together so that projects using citizens' money benefits more than one goal.  BES and PBOT have already been working on such projects, so this will reinforce those efforts.  Both BES Director Dean Marriott and PBOT Director Sue Keil understand the importance of sewer rates funding projects that address stormwater issues.  They are both dedicated to providing equity and services for neighborhoods citywide.  The Mayor's ordinance calls for BES and PBOT to work together to decide which streets best meet shared priorities and the identified goals.

 

 

8.  Is the proposal just naming places where BES planned to build Green Streets facilities anyway?

 

Yes and no. So far, BES has identified locations for approximately 900 facilities so the locations are on the Green Streets inventory.  There are enough areas in Portland where Green Streets facilities are needed to require funding for the next 25 years,  

 

 

9.  Which projects should be added to the BES Capital Improvement List with the $20 million savings - more green street projects, or more hard infrastructure projects?

 

Factors to consider:

 

  • Cost - One reason for adopting the Green Streets program within BES was that it saves money, compared with piped engineered facilities.

An example from an interview in early February, in the Portland Tribune: " Monitoring green street function has been important in proving that they work and that green infrastructure makes good fiscal sense. In the 2.5 square mile Tabor to the River Program area, green streets save us money. The original estimate using traditional grey infrastructure was $144 million in today’s dollars. Two years later, the program was re-designed with a combination of grey and green infrastructure. The current estimate for this integrated approach is $81 million."

 

Independent web sites state:

 

"Green streets can ... save money for sewer ratepayers and taxpayers. Traditional pipe and stormwater disposal systems can cost up to twice as much as green streets projects." upperdesplainesriver.org/portland.htm

 

"Portland's most recent pre-design for green street projects identify design and construction savings of 20% to 63% over traditional storm sewer systems. These savings are calculated without accounting for the ecosystem benefits--which are substantial." plangreen.net

 

In some areas of the City, sewer backup into private properties is a problem.  These areas are targeted for concentrated Green Street facilities because they save money over the traditional pipe replacement, and they provide the needed benefit of relieving storm sewer backup issues.

  • Backlog in project list, green vs. hard infrastructure

* The City’s Asset Management Report of December 2009, which was presented to Council this week, identifies a funding gap for BES of $28 million per year for both hard and green projects

 

* The funding gap for Green Streets is about 30 projects, off the goal of 920 Green Streets facilities in the first five years of the program (starting in 2007). This does not count the entire inventory of sites where the facilities are identified as desirable.

 

* The hard sewer projects cost more, while the Green Streets are more cost-effective in reducing stormwater runoff to pipes.

  • Safety - crash and fatality data on the streets to be prioritized for improvements

The Bicycle Master Plan identified safety priority streets and intersections.  Under the Mayor's proposal, concentrated green streets facilities will be provided on streets on both the Green Street priority list and Bicycle Master Plan priority list.  Further, funding for Green Street facility demonstration projects will be directed to high-crash intersections in all five quadrants of the City, to raise awareness of the virtues of Green Street facilities as well as to improve safety and facilitate bicycle movement.

  • Added value - which of the streets, Green vs. traditional infrastructure, promote better freight, business, and/or pedestrian uses?

The Bicycle Master Plan carefully considered interactions with freight, pedestrians, and business districts.  By cross-referencing with the Green Streets inventory, projects will be funded that meet multiple goals and are thus more cost-effective for citizens paying both taxes and rates, than one fund paying for a project in one area and another adding amenities elsewhere.  Our infrastructure backlog in all areas is well documented.  Citizens benefit when the City addresses more than one need with the same dollar.

 

 

10.  What about ongoing funding for Green Streets and Bicycle Master Plan priority improvements?

 

I did not support the Mayor's proposal to allocate an additional $2 million per year in sewer rate funds for projects on the Bicycle Master Plan, as part of this Ordinance.  That decision should be made in the annual Budget process. Mayor Adams deleted this component of the Ordinance at my request last week, agreeing that ongoing funding decisions should be made in the annual Budget process.  The BES budget presentation is March 30, before the effective date of this ordinance.

.

 

Conclusion

 

After asking all these questions and considering the answers, I believe it is prudent use of rates and contract savings to prioritize spending $20 million in sewer rate money on the Green Streets identified by BES to address storm sewer backup into private properties while simultaneously supporting implementation of portions of the Bicycle Master Plan as implemented by the Bureau of Transporation. 

 

*  It takes advantage of the current favorable bidding and contracting climate to put/keep close to 300 people working while obtaining multiple benefits for use of ratepayer dollars. 

 

*  When done in the necessary concentration and with appropriate design, the addition of Green Street facilities can provide relief in areas at risk for basement flooding, in a manner that is less expensive than traditional engineering solutions and accomplishes BES's goals for investment in infrastructure that prevents and alleviates basement backups. 

 

*  By BES prioritizing building these facilities on streets also identified in the Bicycle Master Plan, multiple goals are achieved with minimal added cost to ratepayers and significant benefit to taxpayers - pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and adjacent residents.

 

*  The alternative of returning about one dollar to each ratepayer does not seem wise to me.

 

I believe it is prudent to use the contract savings from this fiscal year to support 280 jobs spending rate money for stormwater facilities on new Green Streets, on routes that are also identfied in the Bicycle Master Plan. 



Comments

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Posted by: Mike Houck - March 17, 2010 07:15 AM

Commissioner Fritz,

Your stepwise analysis should be in The Oregonian oped page in that it responds to reasonable questions raised by the editorial board and some letters to the editor.

The Urban Greenspaces Institute has come to the same conclusion through a similar analysis.  Our only remaining concern, which was allayed by Mayor Adams at last week's hearing, is the potential for longer term impacts on BES overall budget.

Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of this complex issue.

Mike Houck, Director
Urban Greenspaces Institute

Posted by: Fred Stovel - March 17, 2010 09:59 AM

Commissioner:
When I have an extra few bucks and a large debt, I tend to pay off the debt, not add to it.

Long-term debt of the City of Portland
Unfunded pension and retiree health-care:
$2,912,991,344

Long-term bonds and interim financing:
$2,898,837,396

Total:
$5,811,828,740

Population: 587,406

My share: $9,894.05

As far as bioswales:
"Bio-swales, another justification for curb-extensions, are completely unvetted. There's no plan for managing the soil, and flora, in these once they become saturated with pollutants. There's been no exploration of the possibility these could become concentrated with dangerous chemicals. There's been no exploration of what happens to Fido if he eats veggy out of one of these, let alone wild-birds, and other wild animals, like squirrels and even rats. Experts will speak to bio-remediation as if. Fat soluble PBBs, and benzene, are just two very dangerous chems that bio-remediation won't touch, but that these swales will likely capture and store. The experts talk about heavy-metals from automobile brake-pads yet soil, inherently, is almost saturated with heavy-metals and then some."
Posted by Vance Longwell On Jack Bogdanski's Blog| March 17, 2010 9:03 AM

Posted by: Michael McGrath - March 17, 2010 07:42 PM

What am I missing?

$20,000,000 in costs.  
600,000 residents in Portland.

$20,000,000 divided by 600,000 = $33 per resident.

If we assume 3 residents per household or account, that is $99 per year.  That is significantly more than Ms. Fritz' estimate of $.90 to justify her vote.

Posted by: aaron lang - March 18, 2010 12:07 AM

Why would you assume that citizens that objected to this use of funds are "misinformed"? Is it so unbelievable to you that well informed citizens might have a problem with this?

It is a slap in the face to say that citizens that opposed this redistribution of funds are just too ignorant to properly form an opinion.

Posted by: Amanda Fritz - March 18, 2010 12:57 PM

Thank you for your comments.  
* I appreciate your concurrence, Mike.  
* I believe it is worth borrowing more (or not paying back early) in a recession, Fred, to keep people in jobs.  I disagree with the opinion you posted regarding the effectiveness of bioswales.  It is true that they must be properly sized and designed to work effectively, which was why I devoted significant time this past week making sure there is agreement between BES and PBOT that the money will be spent on stormwater facilities that work.
*  Michael, thanks for doing the math. I didn't post the details of how the 7.5 cents was calculated, since the article was already pretty long.  We have different rates for residential and industrial users.  Its not calculated per capita.  The impact of $20 million to rates was calculated for the "average residential customer".  In looking back at my post, I realize that phrase was in an earlier draft but somehow dropped out of the posted version.  I will correct that mistake.  The City has about 150,000 residential accounts and about 12,000 commercial/industrial accounts.  The latter will pay more because they generate so much more wastewater, and that is how each bill is calculated. Residential customers will pay the 7.5 cents per months based on typical residential water use calculations during the winter months (we don't charge people sewer charges based on summer water use to account for lawn/garden watering).  Of course, from this it is clear that commercial and industrial users's share works out at more than 7.5 cents per month.  I still believe the jobs kept/generated are a wise investment.
* Aaron, from the questions people have asked me, it is evident many have believed the proposal is to pay for bike paths, road striping, traffic lights, etc.  I received, read, and answered over 100 emails on this matter, so I know what Portlanders were saying.  Some of them were misinformed.  This post aims to give accurate information.  Portlanders can then decide, each one, whether you agree with my conclusion, or not, based on the information as I understand it.

Posted by: Amanda Fritz - March 18, 2010 07:16 PM

I mentioned in the original post that one of the options for use of the $20 million was to reduce debt service on the bonds taken out to pay for capital construction projects. I didn't have more information on that until today.  I'm posting it as soon as I received it, to add to the ongoing accumulation of facts around this issue.

If $20 million were cut from BES's Capital Improvement Projects for the purpose of cutting rates and reducing ongoing debt service, the impact to a typical residential customer would indeed be about 7.5 cents per month, in the first year.  The impact in the second year would be greater, up to 15 cents per month, and top out in the third year at 22.5 cents per month.  So the annual return to ratepayers would be $0.90 in year one, $1.80 in year two, and $2.70 in years three through twenty-five.  Overall, the total amount over 25 years would be about $65.  

I don't know if having the information about ongoing rate impacts would have changed my vote, if I had received it earlier.  Our federal government borrowed billions of dollars last year, and by doing so was able to send money to states to fund projects to provide jobs. This investment in jobs, instead of paying off the debt, can be seen in the same light.  On the other hand, our Portland Utility Review Board voluteers are charged with commenting on ongoing rates, and I would have liked their input on a decision that affects ongoing rates in this manner.

This has been a challenging week, with the proposed changes to the Independent Police Review process being considered today after only being released for public review on Friday, and with the intense Council debate on the Hurley case in the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement system yesterday.  My staff and I work long hours doing our best to find out accurate information, and to make good decisions based upon thoughtful consideration of facts and public input.  I am not always successful in these goals.  I will continue to base my actions on what I believe is best for the public good in Portland, recognizing that reasonable people can and do disagree on what that means.  Sometimes I disagree with myself after further discussion.  You're welcome to continue the debate and input here, however I will be unable to check back until Sunday due to a packed work schedule on Friday and family obligations on Saturday.

Posted by: Manuel Veloso - March 18, 2010 11:16 PM

You can always justify using ratepayer money for off-mission projects. Taking your logic to the extreme, why not raise sewer rates by $2 and use that money to fund schools? It's only $2. Why not use that to increase teacher salaries? Fix potholes? Cover the reservoirs?

You wanted to be a commissioner and an elected official because you wanted to make things happen. However, there are times where knowing when to say no is more important than any possible public benefit. Grabbing at a loose pile of money and repurposing it is unseemly...especially since the purpose in question is marginal at best.

Posted by: David Sullivan - March 19, 2010 08:45 AM

I hope that you remember that A Sam and Randy scam always stinks. and that I vote.

Posted by: Paul Manson - March 19, 2010 09:34 AM

Its important to remember that while the green street process helps bikes, it is still 100% a benefit for ratepayers. The more stormwater we do not have to convey through pipes to a treatment facility is a huge savings. This will reduce CSO issues, result in better stormwater management in the neighborhoods and then also benefit road users. (Its not just bikes that benefit from slower traffic - its kids and pedestrians too!)

This is a perfect example of leveraging one public need and another to get a double benefit. Green streets are a smart long term investment that will save ratepayer dollars for years to come.

Posted by: Zac Christensen - March 19, 2010 03:51 PM

Amanda,
While I appreciate your review on what it is at best a debatable issue I still can't figure out why the Portland Utility Review Board wasn't consulted on this decision? It appears that the Council decision came with very limited public involvement and a dismissive attitude towards opponents who we are told are simply misinformed.

What we have now is another divisive issue resulting from questionable communication and leadership by the Council. I don't want "slam-dunk" policy from the Council I want inclusive, well thought out policy. At the least I would hope that the Council takes the time to hear comment and seek consul from advisory groups that were established for the sole purpose of involving the community.

Posted by: Ken Hile - March 19, 2010 05:15 PM

This Takes Lots of Stupidity...

I am so sick and tired of wanna-be politicians wanting to make their stamp on Portland at everyone's expense. Forget we are not funding our schools properly, forget that we have millions upon million$ in pending lawsuits against an out-of-control police department, we have 12 percent unemployment, a recession, and all you can vision is freakin' bike lanes.

We voted against the airport max, but got it anyway.

We thought the tram was dumb, and we got it and an addition $40 mil bill out of it. For what?

If you ask me, this is the first step in bilking the taxpayers out of paying for the sewer fix underneath Band-Aid Park, oopps, I mean PGE Park, so they can get ready for soccer. Remember the big sewer pipe lying 6 feet under the stadium? Remember how they said they might break it? Hmmmmmm.....we get bike lines now, and soccer repairs later.....

Amanda, you should be ashamed of yourself. You and every other worthless bum on the Council. This is completely irresponsible.

Posted by: Larry Emery - March 20, 2010 11:45 AM

I removed my objection once Amanda explained that the Mayor had removed his plan to use $2 million of the $20 million for bike lane improvements and marking costs.  My understanding is that such costs will come out of the transportation budget.  I would like to see a copy of the final ordinance posted and would also recommend that these projects be audited to ensure that intention on funding sources are met.  

I generally agree that these opportunistic, out-of-cycle budget deals are high risk.  How were the specific project locations selected?  Are they the right ones and most cost effective or were they driven by other motives?  

There is going to be a day of reckoning, if the city continues to champion every feel good initiative without regard to cost and source of funding.  For example, the council was quick to pursue the google intitiative, but I did not hear any discussion of the details, is this to be free to the city?  Or are there infrastructure costs that must be borne by the City?  I would point out that the earlier city wireless initiative failed and the current Clearwire impact on neighborhoods where unsightly transmission towers are needed to complete their commercial network.  

Thank you Amanda for providing this open forum for us.

Posted by: Jerry Arvin - March 20, 2010 11:12 PM

Hi, Ms. Fritz!
You've already been ripped on the math, and a few (a very few) of the other considerations. I've read your comments, your justifications for your support. A noisy few have your ear, it seems. An argument can be constructed for just about anything.
  Ms. Fritz, with all the justifying that is going on, you do Not want your name to be attached to this. The people of Portland do not want their sewer dollars to go this way. And if the People don't want it, then Sam Adams, the Greens, and 10,000 angels from hell shouldn't impress you. The people of Portland think it stinks, and that should be enough.
  Thanks for giving us a hearing.
  Thanks, for your Time.
             Jerry Arvin

Posted by: Amanda Fritz - March 21, 2010 03:04 PM

Thank you for the further comments.

Manuel - Sewer rates may only be used for stormwater and sewer projects and programs, not for education funding or potholes.  Water rates will pay for covering the reserviors, IF the Council decides to go that route after a public hearing to consider the issue.  Water rates and sewer rates come to you on the same bill, but one source of funding can't be used for the other.  The funding in this ordinance is for stormwater facility projects in streets.  That is an appropriate use of sewer rates, since surface stormwater facilities have proven to be less expensive and more sustainable than underground pipes, when used in appropriate locations.

David - I don't make decisions based on whether people will vote for me again or not.   If I did, I might have voted against this proposal in a meaningless grandstanding gesture, since it elicited a storm of spontaneous objections voiced to my office by phone, email, and in person.  When I vote against something, it's because I don't believe it is in the long term public good of Portland and Portlanders, rather than to score points with the voters.  I voted for this because I believe building more surface stormwater facilities is the right thing to do.  I recognize many people disagree.  

Pat - I agree.  Thank you for explaining why some Portlanders support the Council in this matter.

Zac - I would have preferred to wait for the Portland Utility Review Board's advice.  The one-week delay by requesting removal of the emergency clause was the best I could do to defer the vote.  The PURB will give us their advice at the BES Budget hearing discussing next year's rates, which is before the ordinance takes effect since removing the emergency clause also delays implementation by 30 days.  Still, I agree with your principle that the PURB should be given time to give the Council advice on significant funding issues.

Ken - The projects funded are not connected with and will not pay for sewer repairs under PGE Park. I continue to watch every detail of the soccer issue especially carefully, since I didn't support the conversion or investing in bringing MLS to Portland.  

In your other comments, you seem unaware that last year Commissioners Fish, Saltzman and I persuaded the entire Council to change the Water Bureau's previous plan to build a filtration plant, if the federal agencies make us treat our Bull Run drinking water for a bug we don't believe it has.  After a worksession and public hearing, the Council chose ultraviolet treatment instead, if we're forced to do something.  That one vote saved ratepayers $500,000,000 - five hundred million dollars.  It decreased the projected rise in this year's Water Bureau rates by over 6%, saving each ratepayer hundreds of dollars. I am not ashamed of this $20 million vote, and I am proud of the $500 million savings vote.

I ran for Council to look for savings great and small, and ways to spend tax and rate dollars wisely, in every line item of every proposal.  I have done that every day in my first 14 months, and I will continue to do so.  With 40% of construction workers unemployed and more than 25% of all Portland workers unemployed or underemployed, I believe it is reasonable, prudent, and wise use of ratepayers' money to invest this $20 million employing local companies to build stormwater facilities.  I recognize that you disagree.  

Larry - Thank you for your support, and for being one of the many citizens who emailed me before the vote helping me sort through the questions and figure out responses.  The specific location of projects to be funded are not defined in the ordinance.  It says the Directors of Environmental Services (Dean Marriott) and Transportation (Sue Keil) and their staff will meet to figure it out.  I met with both Dean and Sue before writing my post.  We tried to get more definition of where the projects will be, before the vote, but ultimately decided those choices are better made in an ongoing considered process rather than in a hurry before the vote.  I am convinced Dean and Sue are both committed to using rate funds only for stormwater facilities, and finding other ways to fund transportation improvements.  They both care about effective stormwater management - Sue used to work in BES.  They both care about geographical and socioeconomic equity, so all areas of the city share in the benefits of this project.

On Google - yay, that is being led by one of my bureaus, so I don't have to dig to find out the details!  The Office of Cable Communication and Franchise Management has done excellent work on this.  It is very unfortunate the $20 million vote distracted attention from it on the Council Agenda on Wednesday.  If we are successful, Google will build a high-speed (100 times faster) fiber-optic network at no cost to the City. It won't be free for users, but it will be market-priced and likely result in lower prices on existing providers' services.  It may be in one area, rather than citywide.  The Cable Office staff have done significant work aimed at providing community technology to underserved and disadvantaged areas such as N/NE and Outer SE (including applying for an $8 million federal grant last week), so we were ready to adapt to Google's requirements.  Google's high-speed fiber-optic infrastructure would be a huge attraction for businesses seeking the improved services.  See my front page for information on the proposal, and how you can help encourage Google to choose us.  I'll put the information on my What Happened page after I take it off the front of our site.

Jerry - Every citizen in Portland has direct access to me, by email, web site comments, phone, talking to me at one of the hundreds of community events I attend each year, or making an appointment to meet with me.  I read and considered input from hundreds of the 582,000 people in Portland on this issue - either for the Bike Plan, or against this funding for stormwater projects.  I put my name in the Yes column for the vote on this ordinance because it seemed a good investment to me.  Even with the additional information that came in afterwards, and the issue of whether the PURB should be asked for advice on every revision of project choices in BES that happens over the course of implementing the approved budget, I still believe this is an appropriate use of sewer rates to provide jobs constructing stormwater facilities.

Posted by: Amanda Fritz - March 21, 2010 04:12 PM

Clarification:  I stated above that my work with Commissioners Fish and Saltzman on choosing ultra-violet rather than filtration, if we are forced to treat Bull Run water, saved "over 6%" on the 2010-11 water rate increase request. It's actually exactly 6%, from 18.9% (projected in the last budget cycle) reduced to 12.9% (requested in the 2010-11 budget).  The Office of Management and Finance is recommending additional cuts, bringing the proposed rate request down to 11%.

The Council will continue to work to obtain a variance to avoid having to build an ultraviolet facility.  That would save approximately $100 million in construction costs, about $200 million including debt service fees.

Posted by: Mark Riskedahl - April 14, 2010 07:10 PM

Impressive example of transparent responsive local governance.  Thanks for sharing your thinking on this issue Amanda.  I agree that these dollars are well-appropriated for the intended purposes.

Posted by: Desiree Bley - April 15, 2010 09:52 AM

Thanks, great breakdown of a politicized issue. I did not know this site existed, and will use it for information in the future. www.BikePortland.org linked it in the comments section.

Posted by: Amanda Fritz - April 20, 2010 08:44 AM

Thank you for your comments, Mark and Desiree.  I'm glad you found the post helpful.

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NAMI Walk 2012
Walk to Work Day
2011 High School Graduation Rates
Buckman Pool - Budget meeting tonight
Chinese New Year Celebrations
Willamette Pedestrian Coalition Annual Meeting
Willamette River Recreation Strategy
PCC Future Connect Scholarship Program
Pirates of Madison High
President F.W. de Klerk's visit
Job openings in the 9-1-1 center
UNLESS
ANB Camp 49 Event
Publicizing Fundraisers
Introducing Dante J. James, Director of the Office of Equity and Human Rights
2011 By the Numbers - Report Card
East Portland Action Plan Annual Report
State Legislative Update 2/3/12
Piccolo Park Water Fountain Fundraiser
Love World Run
Earthquake Preparedness
Proposed Changes to the Portland Charter
Dr. Herman Frankel on the City Council's Corporate Personhood resolution
26th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Skanner Foundation breakfast
TriMet budget survey
City Socks Drive Successful Again
56 days that changed my life
Iraqi Society of Oregon Cultural Integration Series Graduation
Great jobs in the Plumbers and Steamfitters trades
Hillsdale Mural Celebration
Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen
Willamette River Recreation Strategy - comments requested
Volunteers of America Home Free Event
Service Coordination Team Graduation
A young life lost - How you can help
Sisters of the Road Auction on now through Dec 1
Constitutional Rights of assembly and governance
Native American Heritage Month Marketplace
Patience and sleep-deprivation
City of Portland's bank use
Office of Equity and Human Rights Seeks Director - Job posting sent nationwide - please forward to qualified people who may be interested
Peaceful
Occupy Portland camps endanger vulnerable people
Central City Concern Homeless Action fundraiser
Emergency TEST this Wednesday Nov 9 - do NOT call 9-1-1
Spirit of Portland Awards
Clara Peoples, Mother of Junteenth in Portland
Margaret Carter PCC Technical Education Building Dedication
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Gretchen Kafoury
Occupy Portland
Letter Carriers Union Rally
Shine a Light on Addiction and Recovery
Changing Police policies and procedures
Please complete the Street Roots survey
City Internship, City Job
Improvements to the Time, Place and Manner ordinance governing liquor licensed establishments
Parkrose Centennial Celebration
Walk to End Alzheimers, Walk to Defeat ALS
Remembering 9/11/01, in Portland 2011
Gateway First Reponder Tribute and Citizen of the Year
Office of Equity Creation Hearing
Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber fundraiser dinner
Sunday in the sun
Saturdays are for Service
Portland should seek relief on EPA Drinking Water mandates
My vote against the bike rental project
Equity Office Creation Ordinance, Public Review Draft
Somali American Council of Oregon
MAX Red Line successful, Ten Years on
National Night Out
Delightful Sunday Events in SW, NE, SE and North Portland
Weeding the grounds, or building community pride?
East Portland Expo Extravaganza
World Cup Winners
Apply to Serve on the Public Involvement Advisory Council
BOEC User Board citizen members
Volunteers invited for Technology Oversight Committee, and for 2011 Charter Commission
Job Opening in my Office, and other City hiring opportunities
State Legislative Update 6/24/11
Knights of Rosaria
State Legislative Update 6/19/11
Juneteenth
State Legislative Update 6/10/11
State Legislative Update, end of May
Information on the Clean and Safe Program, for May 2011
City opens 2011 Spirit of Portland Award nominations
SB 346: Common Sense protections for callers to 9-1-1
The 9-1-1 computer: On time, under budget, and it works
Op-Ed in Street Roots on Street Performers
Vote daily to help Capitol Hill School
Parade Season kicks off on 82nd Avenue of Roses
State Legislative Update 4/29/11
Comments on JTTF Vote 4/28/11
Mid-term statistics
Hollyrood Kindergartners Cuter, Better Singers than Sam and Amanda
Portland's Homes for Heroes program
Rosemary Anderson High School's Roberta Phillip Scholars
Mud, trees, and David Douglas High students
Frosty Trio
News from the Oregon Legislature, 3/21/11
Marshall's Last Princess
Update on Wireless Facilities in neighborhoods
Another example of the benefits of the Commission form of government : the JTTF debate
2011 Charter Commission convenes today, 1/24/11
Street Roots' Analysis on Ending Homelessness
Portland Police 2011 Awards Ceremony
Thank you for using my web site
Successful Second Sock Drive
Oregon Civil Rights Stories Project
Charter Commission, Part 1
FREE Street Stories Film Festival this weekend
Apply to be on the Oversight Committee for the Historical Society Levy
Children, Parents and Partners of Prisoners
Thankful for people with the Spirit of Portland
Portland Community Media Workshop on Digital Storytelling
Updated Information on Leaf Removal Options
Monday Nov 8 Veterans' event at Reynolds High School
Citizen Involvement Statistics from the Auditor's Annual Survey
Questions/concerns about the Leaf Collection program/fee?
Help Beaumont School win a $100k grant
New Record
Congratulations, Commissioner!
Sidewalk Management Citations data
Update on Alcohol Impact Area proposal
Beautiful Mural to combat Graffiti
Proposed Alcohol Impact Area
Opting out of receiving Phone Books
Cigarette butts are a problem
National Women's Health Week
Graffiti Grants announced in Southeast Uplift
My office philosophy
West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
What to do with West Hayden Island?
Funding for basic emergency services
Community Service Volunteers
Uncut version of Wireless OpEd
Council Resolution on Arizona S.B. 1070
Weekend Update
Positive events in East Portland
Great Blue Heron Week
Saving money, sending money
G.R.E.A.T. Graffiti Cleanup
Nominate citizens for the Sy Award
Council Wellness Challenge Activities
Nominate Portlanders for the Governor's Volunteer Awards
Ruffled feathers
Proposed Amendments on Schools and Parks Code Project
Please sign up for the NAMI Walk, 5/23/10
Memorial Coliseum planning
Please cut our budget
Urban beauty
Vote every day, to win Google
Actions for improving community mental health care services
New members needed for the Portland Utility Review Board
Springtime in Portland
Portland's application to Google
Regional Graffiti work
Elder Friendly
$20 million "for bike projects from sewer rates"?
Additional Public Hearing on Independent Police Review changes
Working Waterfront
What you should know about the Census
Prescription Drug Turn-in event this Saturday
Ship Photography
Southeast Uplift wins Community Solar Leadership award
Community and Police Relations work
Working River
Statement on funding for MLS soccer
Filing Non-emergency Police Reports on line
Proud of Portland's 9-1-1 service
Register and Vote
Take a fire safety quiz and help Portland Fire & Rescue
City Superheroes Support Sock Solicitation
Hawthorne Bridge
Spirit of Portland Awards feedback requested
Your Voice requested, on community information technology
Frozen stiff
Safety and Fines on the Portland Mall
Crime Statistics from Multnomah County
Hollywood Veterans' Day Parade
Crime Prevention, Business Promotion, and Community Building in Overlook
Burnside Bridge
Guidance on when to seek medical care for flu symptoms
Coming Down The Pike
Cute Blazer Fan and Terry Porter
Lower Cost Comcast Cable Options
Osprey
Council Supports H.R. 676, National Health Care Act
Useful Police Services links
Useful Transportation and Street Services links
Oaks Bottom
Preparing for flu season
Sharing Public Spaces Report
Still Soaring
Comments on Transit Oriented Tax Abatement
Labor of Love and Landscaping in Lents
Prescription drug turn-in event
Our Urban Willamette
TriMet Passes for City Employees
Multnomah Days Parade, and more
Sign Up for Kids' Health Care today!
National Night Out parties
YWCA Fundraiser
Fisher
Comments on the Sharing Public Spaces meetings
Interesting Article on Portland Soccer funding
Conversing about Race
City Lights
Interested in the Rose Quarter?
Restorative Listening
Marquam Bridge
Women/Children's Health Survey
Division-Clinton Parade
Comments on Bull Run water treatment
Bull Run Watershed tour
Sunset
Comments on PGE Park deals
Recreational River
Yay for Portlanders!
Remember December?
Good discussion!
City of Roses
Comments on Soccer/Baseball
Sunrise
More Progress on Health Care
Thoughts on helping people living outside
Beautiful
Citizen Representative Needed
Comments on 39th/Chavez Street Renaming
Good in the Hood Parade
Good article on Neighborhood Associations
Help with Health Insurance Coverage
2009 Pride Parade
Help Affording Prescription Drugs
Renting and worried about foreclosure?
Starlight Parade
Resolution on Potential Health Impacts of Wireless Facilities
NAMI Walk
Progress on providing health care coverage for children
Parade season!
Short-term extension on Sidewalk Obstructions Ordinance
Roseway Mural Dedication
From Amanda's Mailbox, on Helping with Homelessness
Made in Oregon sign - update
World Water Day, Sunday 3/22
The Great Soccer Debate
City Council hearings
Columbia River Bridge Discussion
Westside Express Service
Radon Awareness Month - Radon in your home can kill you, and you don't need to move to fix the problem
Citizen Representatives needed - Bureau of Communications User Board
Go Blazers! - Amanda at the January 2nd Portland Trailblazers game
Visual breaks
Join my team
Barge Launch with Tom Sass