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Lake Oswego community members learned about the project during a virtual meeting Oct. 13.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Lake Oswego community members learned about the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant project during a virtual meeting Oct. 13. As the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant project team continues to work through the beginning stages of the project and 15% of the design work has been completed, staff took to the public this week for feedback and questions.

The current Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by the city of Portland, was built in 1964 and needs to either be rebuilt or upgraded to meet regulatory requirements. At this point, the city intends to build a new plant that would be owned by Lake Oswego, operated by an outside firm and provide service for Lake Oswego and parts of the greater Portland area.

This past May, the council selected EPCOR Foothills Water Partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new plant.

Pamplin Media Group listened to the community information session, which was held via Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Below is a rundown of noteworthy questions asked.

On potential trail usage at the Foothills site: Deputy City Manager Anthony Hooper said it's a possibility that some of the acreage on the site could be used for trails, though that would be something for the Lake Oswego City Council to decide at a later date. The council will need to discuss what portions of the property they will use and what they will do with those portions of the property.

On floodplain concerns: Lee Ward, an EPCOR project manager, said there are many challenges the project team needs to address in order to make the plant resilient not only to floodplain issues but also earthquakes.

"We're looking at all of those things," said Ward, adding that staff are working with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and FEMA on requirements at the site "to make sure we are taking into consideration the resilience we anticipate we're going to need in the event of worsening events due to climate change."

On what would happen if EPCOR defaults: The city of Lake Oswego will own the plant, so if EPCOR defaults on the agreement the city could replace the operator.

On future expansions and the operating life of the new plant: Ward said the lifecycle of the new plant will be designed to last until 2055, though current flows aren't as high as they will be in the future.

"We anticipate some growth in Lake Oswego, (but) not a lot because Lake Oswego is built out quite a bit," he said.

On future rate impacts: Hooper said ratepayers would pay the same for an upgraded plant or a new plant, though the city is doing its due diligence to make sure that's the case and they will know more information in June 2022.

On remediation and demolition of the existing plant: Hooper said part of the scope of work will include examining remediation and the demolition of the plant closer to spring 2022. The project team will identify all the issues and actions needed to demolish and remediate the property and the cost will be included in that report.

For more information on the project, visit the city's website.

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