July 15, 2014 | oregonlive.com--
If meeting No. 1 is any indication, 20 business leaders tapped to advise Portland's transportation officials on a proposed street fee have their hands full.
Some at Monday's meeting questioned whether the city is spending its discretionary transportation dollars wisely. Others asked why the transportation bureau is devoting 40 percent of the estimated annual revenue to safety projects instead of much-needed paving work. Many argued the methodology behind the monthly street fee for businesses is confusing, misleading and inequitable.
No one at the public meeting, held in a conference room in the Portland Building, the city's administrative office hub, disputed that the city needs to invest in its infrastructure. The business representatives said the devil is in the details.
"If you can't afford it all, people will pick road repair over safety," said Chris Kopca, a board member and asset manager with the Downtown Development Group.
Five more committee meetings are planned to discuss the street fee plan unveiled by Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales in May. READ FULL ARTICLE