City Hall Watch: Short crypto deadline blasted
Both organizations authorized by the City Council to advise it on utility issues have criticized the short deadline for deciding how to fight a potentially deadly parasite in the Bull Run watershed — the primary source of Portland's water.
In separate reports to the council last week, the Portland Utility Board and the Citizen Utility Board both said the scheduled Aug. 2 vote is too soon. Each said the public needs more time to understand the complex and costly decision.
The council is set to vote Wednesday to build a $150 million ultraviolet plant or a $350 million to $500 million filtration plant to kill or remove cryptosporidium from Bull Run water. That is less than three months after the Oregon Health Authority told the city on May 19 that it must make the decision by Aug. 11.
Both chose filtration if the decision must be made so soon, although CUB wants UV as a backup.
Peterson's owner fights eviction
The owner of Peterson's on Morrison lobbied the City Council on Wednesday to allow the convenience store to remain open while the city-owned parking lot where it is located is remodeled. Don Peterson presented the council with petitions with more than 1,300 signatures in support of the store during the open public testimony portion of the agenda.
Prosper Portland, the former Portland Development Commission, is evicting all retail tenants during the project. Although they can apply to return, none are guaranteed to come back when it is over. Commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Dan Saltzman have asked that the store be prioritized. It has been there since 1984.
Parks director appointed to national board
Portland Parks & Recreation announced Wednesday that Director Mike Abbaté has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the National Recreation and Park Association, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to parks and recreation across the country. He will begin his three-year term at the 2017 NRPA annual conference, which runs Sept. 26-28 in New Orleans.
Abbaté is a landscape architect with 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. In 1997, he co-founded GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture and environmental design consulting firm. He has directed PP&R since 2011, the same year NRPA named Portland the best park system in the nation. Major projects since then include increasing the number of developed parks in East Portland.