After a lengthy council meeting which saw testimony provided by City of Portland staffers, Portland State University administrators, community justice advocates, and private sector representatives, the Portland city council voted to partially fund the Oregon Sustainability Center on a 3-2 vote. Mayor Sam Adam joined Commissioners Randy Leonard and Dan Saltzman voted in favor of the Center, while Commissioners Fish and Fritz voted in opposition.
From the Daily Journal of Commerce:
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish remain skeptical of the project’s financing plan. Fritz said that even though she supports the concept and many of her concerns have been dispelled, she still has concerns about the project’s funding mechanism. Fish also voted “no,” but with “some reluctance.”
Saltzman said that while there’s much to be excited about in the Oregon Sustainability Center, several factors make him nervous. To that end, Saltzman introduced two amendments that the councilors unanimously approved. One amendment states that the city will be unwilling to move forward with the project without a guaranteed maximum price for construction costs. The other states that no costs associated with the design or construction of the OSC will come from future urban renewal money.
So there you go, Portland. Thirty years from now we will be able to look back and see if the vote to construct the Oregon Sustainability Center was a prudent use of Portland tax payers money, or a $30 million boondoggle.