Planning for growth in Banks 'State of the City'
Noting both the accomplishments of the city in 2017 and big plans for 2018, Banks Mayor Pete Edison delivered his fifth "State of the City" address on Monday evening, March 1, at Banks Fire District No. 13.
First on Edison's list of accomplishments in Banks was the completion of the Jane Moore Community Room, which was built on as an extension of the city's library to allow for more library space. It was a 10-year project — although Edison joked about it being a quick and easy ordeal.
"This project is very special. It brought the community together to focus on a singular mission, created a lot of meaning and value for our citizens, and is a success that we should all be very proud of," Edison said. "To me, that was the big accomplishment."
The completion of the Banks Vision 2037 Plan also took place in 2017. Edison said the plan will guide the city for 20 years with its development and growth.
The implementation of an urban renewal district in the downtown area of Banks was completed, and the city council chambers were finally remodeled, Edison said.
"We have functioning chambers now...It's nice," he joked.
For the upcoming year, Edison noted three "fairly large" projects to expect.
The first is a new water transmission line on Cellars Road, Banks and Cedar Canyon roads, which Edison said has been experiencing water leaks "forever."
The $3.5 million to $3.8 million project — an expensive one for Banks — will replace 4.5 miles of 60-year-old pipe, Edison said. It is expected to eliminate the loss of 1.5 million gallons of water every month.
"It's like finding a whole new water source," Edison said. "Looking forward to getting that started."
The second big project is a "water and street project" with plans to loop the dead end water lines on Market Street and Depot streets, by running a new line down Commerce Street all the way to Sunset Avenue, Edison said.
There will also be curbing and sidewalk work done.
"We can improve water quality for those residents and really fix some falling apart streets," Edison said.
Lastly in the city's plan for 2018 is the "ASR Feasibility Study," a study conducted with the goal of discovering new water sources. Edison explained one element of this is going to be taking the extra water the city has in the winter time, and storing it underground for summer time.
"We do have extra water in the winter time and we can hopefully make this work," he said. The study should have results back in June with the logistics of this project, as well other ideas for water sourcing.
During the meeting, Edison recognized the Economic Development Council, which is in its second year, and complimented the group on coming up with innovative ideas.
The council is currently conducting a study "to learn about how we can help our current local businesses," said Edison.
"It will identify types of businesses that could flourish in Banks in the future, and it helps us fit into our region economically," the mayor explained.
Finally, Edison mentioned four new surrounding areas slated for development and also informed residents that the controversial north-end intersection will be underway soon. Debate between a traffic signal or a roundabout for the intersection hasn't yet been settled, though Edison believes the discussion looks to lean toward a roundabout.
There were many jokes made and thanks given by Edison to members of the community.
"I have to say, this is a great place to live," he said. "The economic situation here and the quality of life, Washington County has got it going on, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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