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Significant progress made on Stafford planning, funding for city projects in 2018

Like many people around this time of year, the West Linn City Council spent part of its Dec. 17 meeting in a state of reflection.

City Manager Eileen Stein delivered her final quarterly report on the status of the 2018 City Council Goals, and, as might be expected, the results were mixed. The City completed several significant efforts in 2018, among them the approval of a three-city IGA regarding future Stafford development, the awarding of a design contract for transportation improvements around Willamette Falls Drive and the passing of a renewed general obligation (GO) bond to fund $19 million in city projects. Other projects, like phase one of the Highway 43 Concept Plan project and evaluating the city's legal services structure, moved slower than expected, and many of the council's 2018 goals will continue into 2019.

That was no surprise to Mayor Russ Axelrod.

"Many of our goals this year we've made great accomplishments and strides towards, and some have been completed," Axelrod said. "But some are multi-year goals that are going to continue."

The 2018 goals, adopted in February, included 21 initiatives under five "guiding principles": Sense of Community, Land Use and Quality of Life, Sustainability, Community Institutions and Cultural Diversity, Education and the Arts. Of those 21 goals, nine were completed.

While one of the City's most significant projects — planning for the redevelopment of the waterfront area — was firmly marked as "in progress," Axelrod was happy with some of the steps taken.

"We've accomplished a major hurdle in transportation infrastructure — we've got a design that we were working with ODOT on," Axelrod said. "We had to delay some of the concept planning to work on transportation infrastructure (plans)."

Details on that transportation infrastructure plan are tentatively scheduled to be presented to the council in February.

While noting that work on Highway 43 improvements was slow in 2018, Axelrod said "you'll see that project come to light more in 2019 than in 2018."

Near the end of the discussion, the council turned to how it might alter its goal-setting process in 2019.

"Maybe you can refine the goals and say, 'This part (of a multi-year effort) is what we want to accomplish this year," City Council President Brenda Perry said.

Goal-setting typically takes place in January. In 2019, two new councilors — Jules Walters and Bill Relyea — will join the process in place of Perry and City Councilor Bob Martin.

To view a full rundown of the council's 2018 goals, visit https://bit.ly/2Etb3xv.

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