At Durham City Hall, money is tough to come by.
The city in between Tigard and Tualatin is small — about 2,000 residents — and mostly residential, and it has a very low property tax rate — just 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
But thanks to a relatively new state program, Durham has been able to afford some much-needed improvements. With $100,000 from the Oregon Department of Transportation's "Small City Allotment" grant program, the city government plans to replace 18 ramps on two streets that currently don't meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
On Oct. 26, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced total awards of $5.1 million in funding throughout the state, distributed to cities with populations of less than 5,000 residents.
"We received 92 applications requesting $9,032,850 and were able to award 53 projects totaling $5,135,900," ODOT director Kris Strickler wrote in a press release.
That funding comes from the Keep Oregon Moving transportation package, which was approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2017.
Linda Tate, Durham's city administrator, said the money will be used to remove ADA ramps on Southwest Rivendell Drive and Southwest Willowbottom Way, replacing them with ADA-compliant ones.
Durham has received ODOT small city grants, also known as SCAs, four of the six times it has applied for them since 2017.
"Originally, the grants were up to $50,000 each, and we received that amount in 2017 and 2018," she said.
The maximum grant amount has since doubled to $100,000.
"We received that amount for the 2021 and 2022 grants," Tate said.
Tate said when applying for the funds, cities must earmark them for specific projects. Both she and the city engineer proposed the ADA ramps to the Durham City Council, which approved the recommendation, she said.
Located west of Bridgeport Village — between Tigard and Tualatin — Durham is a small community that sits on 265 acres with 52 acres designated as park land and open space area. The community is known for having a strong tree ordinance.
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