Commissioner Amanda Fritz, known as a watchdog of the City’s coffers, especially when proposals have potential to impact citizen’s pocketbooks, has published a blog post stating her support for Mayor Adams’ $20 million plan to fund bike-boulevard specific components of green streets.
Fritz points out that the average residential sewer ratepayer in Portland would save just 7.5 cents per month, or 90 cents per year if the $20 million was given back to them instead of being used for this purpose. “The alternative of returning about one dollar to each ratepayer does not seem wise to me.”
One of the key reasons Fritz thinks Adams’ use of the $20 million is the best idea is that she estimates the projects built with the money would create 280 jobs. Here’s an excerpt from her statement:
“… Some say the savings should be returned to the ratepayers. I believe most Portlanders if asked whether they would rather have 90 cents returned to them for the year, or help to create 280 family-wage jobs during a recession, would opt for the jobs. Particularly, if the jobs are providing infrastructure improvements in neighborhoods.”
And, after a long and detailed statement that shows an impressive attention to this issue, here is Fritz’s conclusion:
“After asking all these questions and considering the answers, I believe it is prudent use of rates and contract savings to prioritize spending $20 million in sewer rate money on the Green Streets identified by BES to address storm sewer backup into private properties while simultaneously supporting implementation of portions of the Bicycle Master Plan as implemented by the Bureau of Transportation.”
City Council is set to vote on the proposal this morning. Read Fritz’s full statement here.