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UTL-2.08 - Agreement with Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association for Mt. Tabor Park Reservoirs

AGREEMENT WITH MT. TABOR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION FOR MT. TABOR PARK RESERVOIRS

Binding City Policy

BCP-UTL-2.08


 

PURPOSE

WHEREAS, Mt. Tabor Park and the Mt. Tabor Reservoirs have been an important aspect of Portland’s livability for over a century; and

WHEREAS, the Mt Tabor Reservoirs and, separately, Mt. Tabor Park itself were both listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 and are now the Mt Tabor Park Reservoirs Historic District and Mt Tabor Park Historic District; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) passed a new federal drinking water rule (LT2) in 2006 that requires water utilities that store treated water in open reservoirs to either cover the reservoir or treat the reservoir discharge; and

WHEREAS, Mount Tabor community members have consistently expressed firm opposition to covering, burying, or disconnecting the historic reservoirs at Mt. Tabor; and

WHEREAS, the Portland City Council approved a Compliance Schedule with the EPA March 2009 that is scheduled to result in disconnection of the reservoirs from the drinking water distribution system by December 31, 2015; and

WHEREAS, the disconnection of the Mt. Tabor Reservoirs is just one component of an overall LT2 compliance strategy that includes building new storage at Powell Butte, Kelly Butte and new covered storage in place of the open reservoirs at Washington Park; and

WHEREAS, the Historic Landmarks Commission has called for the reservoirs’ water levels to be maintained so as to consistently produce the sites’ characteristic, iconic views, and for the reservoirs to be repaired, maintained and restored as historic landmarks; and

WHEREAS, the reservoirs at Mt. Tabor will remain an integral and historic part of Mt. Tabor Park; and

WHEREAS, the community is concerned about the impact to the treed character of the park by work done on Water Bureau pipes and appurtenances, and the Water Bureau is concerned about maintaining buffers between pipes and trees; and

WHEREAS, empty reservoirs would lessen the visual attractiveness of the park, negatively impact the historic integrity of the sites, detract from the overall appearance of the park and diminish the park experience for neighborhood residents and visitors alike; and

WHEREAS, the reservoirs will continue to be an asset of the City of Portland; and

WHEREAS, the reservoirs are part of a complex system of pipes, valves, other reservoirs and related equipment that continue to be part of the overall utility infrastructure necessary for the operation of the city’s water distribution system; and

WHEREAS, the reservoir locations may be needed for additional storage in future generations; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland has an obligation to maintain, repair and preserve its assets; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, the Water Bureau contracted with Cascade Design Professionals and historic architect, Robert Dortignacq, to develop the Mount Tabor Reservoirs Historic Structures Report in order to provide expert advice on the condition, maintenance, rehabilitation and preservation of the historic visual features within the Mount Tabor Park Reservoirs Historic District; and

WHEREAS, the summary findings of the report indicate that while the historic features in the district are in fair to good condition, are largely intact, and reflect their original construction, there are various projects that need to be completed in the near-, mid- and far-term timeframes to prevent and remedy deterioration of those structures; and

WHEREAS, the report forms the basis for discussion between the Water Bureau and the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA) regarding the City’s obligation to maintain, repair and preserve the reservoirs as an existing and future City asset; and

WHEREAS, the Mt. Tabor Park Master Plan and amendments, accepted in Council Resolution 36657 (Dec 2008) as “the most current and correct information regarding the status and directions regarding Mt Tabor Park”, will also influence these discussions between the Water Bureau and the MTNA; and

WHEREAS, the Water Bureau and MTNA agree that a cooperative agreement to prioritize and implement the maintenance, repair and preservation of the reservoirs is in the best interests of the City, the public and future users of the Park and reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, the MTNA is counting on the continued support of the City Council to ensure that this agreement is implemented.

 


 

POLICY

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that barring unforeseen circumstances, the City will ensure that three out of the four reservoir basins will be kept full (as close to 85% as possible) while the fourth is being drained, cleaned and refilled; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Water Bureau shall continue to work with the MTNA to explore alternative methods to maintain clean water at historic levels, and to maximize the number of days the reservoirs are full, in order to preserve the character of the reservoirs and the park in the most efficient and sustainable manner possible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Water Bureau, and other City agencies as are necessary, including any City agency that may be responsible for managing the reservoirs in the future, are directed to work with the MTNA to prioritize maintenance, repair and preservation work identified in the 2009 Mount Tabor Reservoirs Historic Structures Report to be accomplished over a four-year period beginning in FY 2016-2017; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council shall allocate at least $4 million over the next four years to the maintenance, repair and preservation work identified in the 2009 Mount Tabor Reservoirs Historic Structures Report; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council will consider in a future budget an additional $1.5 million allocation to replace non-historic lighting with aesthetically appropriate lighting at Reservoirs 1 and 5; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Water Bureau and other City bureaus as are necessary, directed to collaborate with the MTNA to develop an interpretive program that tells the history of the Mt. Tabor reservoirs and the City’s water system; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Water Bureau will confer and consult with the MTNA before planned work and after emergency events in the park which have potential impact on trees with the intent to minimize the visual impact on the treed character of the park; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Water Bureau and other City bureaus as appropriate will coordinate and collaborate with the MTNA on a joint Semi-annual written Report to City Council documenting compliance with this Resolution, as well as annual presentations to City Council and the Portland Utility Board, including a Final Summary Report to be submitted by December 31, 2020 to City Council regarding the implementation of the maintenance, repair and preservation work identified in the 2009 Mount Tabor Reservoirs Historic Structures Report; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the financial obligations and other commitments approved by this resolution are binding City policy.

 


HISTORY

Resolution No. 37146, adopted by City Council July 15, 2015.