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Why in the world is our City Council spending $1.5 million to buy land that may never be used?

Are you aware that on 11/19/18, Mayo Knapp and Wilsonville City Councilors (with the exception of Councilor Starr) passed a resolution to buy 1.5 acres of land just south of Les Schwab?

The cost is $1,512,000 and it is being purchased to provide an easterly landing location for the planned I-5 Pedestrian Bridge project shown on the Town Center Master Plan. The bridge would span I-5 from Barber Street on the west and terminate in front of Les Schwab.

The bridge is supposed to make it easier to access Town Center without using a car. Basically this is going to be a $12-15 million bill to the residents of Wilsonville for commuting visitors (cost could be roughly $1,500-$1,800 per household). Who likely will end up paying for this bridge, and I don't mean just the land acquisition cost? You, the taxpayers! Why in the world is our City Council spending $1.5 million to buy land that may never be used? I don't see current land owners in Town Center, who have deed restrictions on this property, willing to spend any money to redevelop. If it ever does redevelop, it is many years away. Even then, do we need a pedestrian bridge across the freeway that most of the residents on the east side will never use?

If we had an extra $1.5 million to spend, why not on roads, sidewalks, speed bumps, or measures to help with traffic today? Or, how about more access to the river for all of our residents to enjoy. Why would council spend so much money on the ONLY land in Wilsonville that has not appreciated in the last 15 years?

This would be a terrible investment by the City who wants to overspend on this property.Yes, it's true, we elected our city council to make decisions for us. But, that doesn't mean we can't call them out when we don't agree. Interestingly, this decision was made just after elections were over denying City Council candidates the best opportunity to bring this to the public's attention.The other bridge on our horizon is the proposed pedestrian/bike and emergency vehicle bridge across the Willamette from Old Town. Most residents of Old Town are adamantly opposed to this bridge, as are many other Wilsonville citizens. Millions have already been spent on the design of this bridge and that is just a drop in the bucket to what the bridge will cost.

Again, without local automobile traffic allowed on this bridge, Wilsonville citizens will get stuck with another huge bill to promote bicycling and walking for people who don't live here.

Why would we spend over an estimated $2,250 per household for a bridge to nowhere?

Doris Wehler a is 45-year resident of Wilsonville

Contract Publishing

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