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The city wants feedback on capital needs including the replacement of its waterline, which could cost $14 million

PMG FILE PHOTO - The city of West Linn will have to replace the waterline running under the Abernethy Bridge. After placing a bond measure to fund the purchase of Oppenlander Fields in the May 17 election, the city of West Linn plans to put another capital bond measure before voters in November.

Prior to the next election, however, the city wants to hear community members' thoughts on the city's capital needs. The city launched an online survey May 14, providing information on various unfunded city projects and asking for community input.

The survey closes June 9.

The most pressing need addressed in the survey is the replacement of the city's waterline, which runs beneath the Abernethy Bridge. With replacement of the bridge slated to begin later this year, the city must replace the waterline, which provides all of the city's water.

"The City will seek funding assistance from the State and Federal Government for this project; however, West Linn's cost could be as much as $14 million," according to the survey. "If the measure does not pass, the money will come from deferring water maintenance activities on West Linn's water system. This could lead to increased problems with breaks and leaks as our system ages."

The survey also states that the city's aging water infrastructure means that water lines throughout town will likely need repairs and replacement in the coming years. The city expects work to address the highest priority drinking water system needs to cost between $10 million and $20 million.

The survey asks if residents would prefer to continue paying incremental water rate increases (5% per year) even if it means more frequent pipe breaks and leaks and service outages or pay for repairs through a bond.

The survey also asks community members how they feel about funding the construction of an indoor recreation center through the bond. Such a facility could be built on the city's property next to Tanner Creek Park, with its expected cost around $20-40 million.

Also addressed in the survey is the city's public works and park operations facility. According to city staff, the current building is too small and would not withstand a major earthquake. The city is interested in moving the operations to a site near I-205. The new operations facility would cost around $15 million, and the city already has $7.5 million identified for the project. The other half could be funded through the bond.

The city is also considering $2 million in funding to replace trees damaged by last year's ice storm and grind remaining stumps. Though this tree replacement is technically the responsibility of property owners, the West Linn City Council has contemplated a citywide approach to ensure the tree replacement is coordinated and cost effective.

The City Council is slated to talk about a potential November ballot measure at its June 6 work session.


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