A MILLION-DOLLAR DEAL meant to keep Right 2 Dream Too from moving to a city-owned lot near the Pearl District was pushed off at least another week after Commissioner Dan Saltzman raised pointed questions on Wednesday, February 12.
Under the proposed deal, developers Homer Williams and Dike Dame would buy the lot from the Portland Development Commission (PDC) for $142,000—then give an additional $846,000 to Right 2 Dream Too to buy or lease another lot, hopefully near downtown. The PDC's board unanimously approved its piece of the transaction. But now the PDC is waiting for city council to do its part.
Saltzman, the city's housing commissioner, told the Mercury he's especially worried the city might kick in extra money to help R2DToo move—and sources confirm he came close to pitching amendments that would have banned such a subsidy. Later, he told the Oregonian's editorial board he's afraid other neighborhoods will complain the city is letting the Pearl District buy its way out of having a homeless community in its midst. DENIS C. THERIAULT
THE COUNTY'S INSPECTION of the troubled Morrison Bridge may take twice as long as previously announced, after staff encountered unexpected troubles when trying to determine why the span's new polymer deck has prematurely failed.
Multnomah County announced last month that one of the bridge's eastbound lanes would be closed for roughly three weeks while inspectors examined and switched out cracked or ruined panels. The work would then move to a single westbound lane. But nearly three weeks in, county spokesman Mike Pullen said the work had been delayed.
"Partly due to weather, but party due to the complexity of the investigation," Pullen said.
Multnomah County is locked in a lawsuit with the companies who supplied and installed the deck, which began cracking and loosening shortly after it was completed in early 2012. Repair costs are expected to exceed $2 million—nearly half the project's initial costs. DIRK VANDERHART
JUST 48 HOURS before the first teachers strike in the history of Portland Public Schools (PPS), the district and the teachers' union announced a tentative "conceptual agreement" over a new contract on Tuesday, February 18.
Details of the agreement hadn't been released by press time, but the announcement appeared to signal the end of deep disagreements over teacher workload, benefits, and hiring practices. That debate was complicated by nearly $25 million in unexpected funds PPS received from property tax revenues—which teachers demanded be put into hiring more educators.
The deal still has to be ratified by Portland Association of Teachers members and the school board. But even if those votes eventually fall through, a strike that was set to begin on February 20 will be delayed. DVH