By Kate Mitchell
Rich Newlands, from the city’s Transportation Bureau, spoke about the NE/SE 50s Bikeway project. The project was put out to bid in June and bids were opened July 9. The two bids received were substantially above the project’s construction budget and original cost estimate. As a result, the city will rebid the project in November. The new anticipated construction start date is February 2014.
Officials had hoped to begin construction of the 4.3 mile bikeway in late August. Rich reinforced that the adjacent sidestreets will be monitored and changes will be made as needed to prevent increased traffic volumes. As a last resort, a much disputed traffic “diverter “at SE 52nd and SE Division would be removed.
Dawn Smallman gave an update on the reservoirs. The ballot initiative to establish the Portland Public Water District to assume responsibility for the reservoirs has started a lot of conversation about issues around both the reservoirs and the existing Bureau of Environmental Services. From Dawn’s understanding, reservoirs that are currently empty are not planned to be refilled at this point.
Peter Niland mentioned that he was told by a city engineer that there are no immediate plans about what to do with the empty reservoirs. Scott Fernandez has been contacting Sen. Jeff Merkley to try to get a waiver from the EPA. MTNA did not receive an official response to the letter sent several weeks ago to city officials, so Dawn will resend it and request written response. The letter urged retention of the open reservoirs.
Brianna Weaver spoke about the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The ReStore is a donation center for building materials such as doors, appliances and usable materials. Donations are then resold as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. The ReStore would be interested in joining the neighborhood cleanup to collect building supplies. Pick-ups and deconstruction services can be arranged. Learn more at www.pdxrestore.org .
“The Adventures of Tin Tin” was originally scheduled to be the movie in the park for August 10, and was postponed due to weather. It is planned to be rescheduled for September 21 at Warner Pacific College. This (our third annual) community movie at WPC is a collaborative project of the Mt. Tabor and S. Tabor Neighborhood Associations, Warner Pacific College, the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park and the Park Bureau. Songbird Café joined us as a sponsor this year as well.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 18, at 7 pm at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, SE 54th and Belmont, with a social time starting 6:45 pm. For information, go to www.mttaborpdx.org.