Saturday, September 22, 2018

City Council, September 24th - Riverfront Park

Council meets on Monday, and before the formal meetings themselves, they will conduct a Work Session on the proposals for Riverfront Park.

From a set of three aerial, perspective shots
The city has published a new set of sketches that add a little more to visualizing the proposals for the park.

That and the plan map is apparently it for the moment. I thought there might be more of a narrative and sense of staging in the materials presented to Council. At the moment it's just a 20 year plan, all very vague. Hopefully there will be more detail later. (Previous notes here.)

Hotel Argo where the elevator shaft
for the Chemeketa Parkade is located today,
across the street from the UGM site.
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
There is an amended purchase option agreement for the rest of the block around the UGM site. It is with the Argo Investment Corporation and several individuals, and I just hope sometime we'll be able to find out more about the "Argo" name! There might be some interesting history here.

And there are appointments to the Sustainable Services Revenue Task Force. On the transportation side, for "Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure," they are Mike Erdmann, Home Builders Association of Marion and Polk Counties; Britni Davidson-Cruickshank, Salem Electric.
The [14 member] task force will gain an understanding of the City’s current and forecasted financial situation and be presented with possible options to sustain current City services supported by the General Fund. After reviewing revenue alternatives, the task force will recommend to the City Council new, additional revenue sources or changes to current fees that should be further explored. The City Council may choose to direct staff on the implementation of task force recommendations in order to balance future budgets and sustain services.
Again, it's interesting to compare these appointments with those to "Our Salem" on the Comprehensive Plan update. And these appointments on the surface look plausible and reasonable in a way the appointments to "Our Salem" did not.

Still, if there is meaning to "sustainable services," the appointments for "safe, reliable, and efficient infrastructure" may be tilted too much towards 20th century autoism. On the other hand, the Home Builders are intimately involved in the way SDCs work, and it is reasonable they should participate in debate and deliberation.

Via Brent Toderian and Sustainable Prosperity
Hopefully at some point we'll really start to dig in and look at the way we subsidize our autoism, and be able to reduce the level of subsidy and then to frame up walking, biking, and transit as more efficient investments for mobility.

More generally, maybe we can develop a better sense for the differentials in cost between compact development in the city center and car-dependent development on the edges.

Yaquina Hall, 1946 - to be affordable housing
The Housing Authority also has an amendment to the purchase agreement on Yaquina Hall at on the former north campus of the State Hospital. There's an amended parking agreement, and a corresponding reduction in the purchase price. Closing on the deal is still a little ways off, apparently.

Maybe you will see other items of interest also.

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