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Majority of Gresham say 'yes' to continuing renewal district in support of Rockwood development, projects

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - The Rockwood-West Gresham Renewal District would dedicate $37 million to the region.Voters said "yes" to a city of Gresham ballot measure to extend a program responsible for improving Rockwood's economy in the Tuesday, May 18 election.

Ballot Measure 26-223 Rockwood-West Gresham Renewal Plan Extension got 10,444 yes votes, 70.93%, and 4,280 no votes, 29.07%.

In total 14,724 votes were tallied.

With approval the measure now extends the urban renewal district through June 30, 2029, a six-year expansion from the current expiration date in 2023. The district allows Gresham to spend about $37 million on new projects centered in Rockwood, including transportation, housing, job creation, small business support, and parks and recreation. It is most often used for infrastructure and economic development.

Urban renewal districts do not increase property taxes. Instead the system dedicates funds to a specific region, like Rockwood, for improvement. It changes how existing taxes collected on properties are divided among taxing districts like the city and Multnomah County.

In 2003 voters passed the existing Rockwood/West Gresham District, which is 1,211 acres and extends from Northeast 181st Avenue, Burnside and Stark Street, to just north of Interstate 84. Since its formation, officials have touted the district has assisted in relocating 40 new businesses into the area and nearly 700 jobs.

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