Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oregonian Article Provides Cost Details For Streetcar & Foothills

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the Oregonian released information on the costs to LO taxpayers for both Streetcar and Foothills.   The details are insightful and yet do not fully reflect the total cost of these projects on the community. 

For example in the article: Lake Oswego on the Clock

How much Lake Oswego spent to date planning for redeveloping Foothills
$800,000 to Williams, Dame & White for predevelopment agreement and framework plan
$129,000 to ECONorthwest for financial feasibility study
$929,000 = Total
How much Lake Oswego spent to date planning for a proposed streetcar
$57,000 to Metro for alternatives analysis and refinement phase
$37,000 to TriMet for Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Federal Transit Administration grant application
$1,500,000 loan to TriMet to produce DEIS
$87,300 to Roger Martin & Associates and Richard Feeney for streetcar consulting work
$25,000 to Portland Streetcar Inc for services of federal lobbyist
$87,500 to TriMet for extending selection of Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in 2011
$247,500 to TriMet for 2011 streetcar refinement study
$25,000 to Davis Hibbitts Midghall for Streetcar Community Attitudes Survey
$175,000 estimated spent in staff time
$2,241,300 = Subtotal
Funds due: $1,800,000 in Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) funds from TriMet for loan reimbursement
In the article the Oregonian Implies that actual costs for streetcar will be lower when the city receives its $1.8 million loan to Tri met back.    It fails to mention that Trimet is in deep finacial trouble and many question if or when the loan will actually be repaid or renegotiated.   Heading Down Trimet's Tracks.
So the net outflow of funds is a Whopping $3.17 million and counting.     This doesnt include staff time or other resources which were diverted to teh projects for the past several years.  
However the real cost is not the millions in taxpayer funds but the loss of trust in the competency of local government to adequately meet the needs of the community and establish clear and congruent viable priorities.  
That is clearly the impact of the direction of the Mayor and Council.   It will be many years before residents faith in local government and transparency will be restored.   
 This is especially true as many believe that the projects have just been put on hold until after the 2012 election due to a growing recall movement within the community and public outrage at wasted taxpayer dollars on projects that had little public support.  
Only time will tell the true story and the intentions of the parties involved.   

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