There will be a special meeting for the ECNA and Bridgeton neighborhoods on January 18th at 6pm at the Kenton Firehouse, 2209 N. Scofield, to explain the City’s proposed fee increase and the Multnomah Drainage districts’s role in managing storm water for the East Columbia and Bridgeton neighborhoods.
East Columbia and Bridgeton neighborhoods are in the Peninsula Drainage District 2 (PEN2), which is managed by the Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD). For over 10 years the drainage districts have had an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the City of Portland to manage storm water runoff in Multnomah County Drainage District #1, Peninsula Drainage District #1 and Peninsula Drainage District #2 The IGA expires on June 30, 2012. The City has proposed a substantial fee increase. A standard lot pays MCDD staff and the drainage districts board members have had ongoing discussions with the City about this issue. At the PEN2 Annual meeting on Dec 1, 2011 the issue was presented to those in attendance. Only about 20 landowners from Bridgeton and East Columbia were present at that meeting. It was decided to have a special meeting to explain the City’s proposed fee increase and the reasons for the increase.
Jim Hagerman from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) will present the City’s proposal. Dave Hendricks, Executive Director of MCDD, and PEN2 board members will be on hand to answer questions about MCDD’s role in this issue. At the PEN2 Annual meeting in December, an example of the fee increase was used for a typical residential landowner on a 50 x 100 lot. Currently that landowner pays approximately $15 a year through the district assessment. The City’s proposed new direct billing would bring that amount to between $150 – $200/a year.
This is an important opportunity for neighbors to voice their concerns regarding the proposed fee increase. This issue will go before City Council this spring. It is equally important for neighbors to find out the reasons behind the fee increase and if it is equitable for those of us living in a managed flood plain where many other factors are unique to this area.