Troutdale voters rejecting bond measure to restore old City Hall
Troutdale voters don't appear to be convinced a $7.3 bond measure to restore old City Hall on Southeast Kibling Street is the best path forward for the city.
Based on results from Multnomah County Elections Division on Thursday morning, Nov. 7, 3,200 or 72.59% of voters, rejected Measure 26-202, while 877 or 27.41% of voters, supported the proposal.
They were asked to consider authorizing the city to issue $7.3 million in general obligation bonds to fund a complete restoration and remodel of historic Troutdale City Hall on Southeast Kibling Street and Historic Columbia River Highway.
The measure would have increased a Troutdale resident's property tax rate by approximately 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax for a Troutdale home assessed at $200,000 would have increased from $3,496 to about $3,552 — $56 per year — based on the current tax rate of $17.48 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Mayor Casey Ryan, who did not take a public position on the measure, said he is not surprised by the initial results on Nov. 5.
"I kinda thought that's what it was gonna be," he said after election results were reported. "I purposely didn't get involved. I wanted it to play out, so that's why we sent it to the voters.
"I don't think it was actually a referendum of City Hall itself," he added. "I don't think a putting a bond out there for a new city hall would have passed either. I think people are just tired (of bond measures and new taxes)."
Ryan acknowledged the pockets of strong support for the measure from people like City Councilor Dave Ripma and members of the Troutdale Historical Society.
"I do feel bad for the Historical Society and Councilor Ripma, who are passionate about their community," he said. "We will have to make some big decisions going forward. We can't just let that building rot."
That said, Ryan doesn't anticipate reigniting a discussion about city office needs — now fulfilled by five rented spaces downtown — right away.
"I'm gonna let it cool a little bit," he said. "I don't know if Troutdale needs a big City Hall. We don't have a horrible situation right now."
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