In our second review of the actions taken by the City Council, we deeply dive into some of the most important work acted upon. With the City of Hillsboro Council Meetings every week, work sessions, and executive sessions, our council was as busy or busier than any. Listed below are many of the items we pulled out to be considered as the most impactful and important in terms of their effects and outcomes on the people of Hillsboro.
The City was presented with information on how the Big Pipe Project was between $300,000,000 and 400,000,000 dollars over budget. The City of Hillsboro is needing to cover about $110,000,000 of that. This 6-foot-high water pipe installed into the Willamette River at Wilsonville will bring hundreds of millions of gallons to Hillsboro yearly. This sets us up for more industry, and it surely will make us the envy of the Western US. Water is big money and big politics. Those that have it will reap the harvest. Those without it, not so much. We have it and will pay dearly as ratepayers with about 20% cost increases hitting our bills this year and next in total. I believe our water department is doing its best with inflation and all, but this is something to be aware of. Sparks will continue to fly over who is paying for it versus who is using it. Yes, Intel uses more than all of us put together daily, yet they pay less than we do. Go figure.
The Council approved pay raises for themselves- it is not a lot, but more than the volunteer position used to pay. As hard as they work, I suppose it is needed.
Hillsboro also took up the very important work of creating more housing as per the requirements of Senate Bill 2001. The Planning Commission was given the task of writing new policies. The preliminaries were presented in this section of the year.
Another noteworthy item is that our City Budget has now blown past 1 Billion dollars a year. This is a huge amount, and we are sure carrying a lot of debt and weight to manage the many fine things we enjoy here. Let’s hope things keep profitable.
Finally, the City of Hillsboro Parks Department finished up the Community involvement for the All Inclusive Park going in at SE 53rd. This $12,500,000 park will have something for everyone, no matter what their special abilities are-this is very exciting for so many people in Hillsboro who have longed for a park like this.
The topics we chose and the links to read up and see more are all outlined below for your review and for future readers and generations to look back and see what was done. Next up is 2022 Q3.
- Planning Departments Community Engagement Work Group – the City takes a look at how to reach marginalized communities. This is a really good step- we need to reach more people in our community with language barriers and who have traditionally been unable to participate in land use planning!
- Cypress Street Improvement Project approved– big project and much needed to get people through the center of town from TV Highway.
- Ordinance 6397 was approved to allow construction workers to live in their RVs and Trailers at large-scale industrial job sites. This is a great ordinance- smart. Now we need to allow RVs and trailers to be occupied on private lots with design and safety concerns in mind.
- Proclamations for National Library Week, Fair Housing Month, and Arab American Heritage Month, were made. Good stuff!
- Affordable Housing Program Overview Reviewed – The city presented a deep dive into how we can develop programs and policies to preserve housing in at-risk areas, increase options for housing people can afford, and more. Eco-Northwest provided a technical report and urged caution about economic stimulus in areas where people may be easily displaced.
- Nikki Iverson of the Hillsboro Water Department reported on the Big Pipe Project – Willamette Water Supply Project. The bad news was given that the project costs have climbed from $1.3 Billion to $1.6 Billion – Hillsboro’s share of the project is about $534 Million. Careful budgeting and rate increases in 2023 and 2024 will cover the shortfall.
- 53rd Avenue Park West – All Inclusive Park – Budget of $12,500,000 was presented. The council approved, and the new park is underway. This park will provide a place for people of all ages – “intentionally designed for people of all ages, all abilities, all backgrounds, and all orientations that connect, create, and strengthen the Hillsboro community.”
- Council Work Session – Housing Hillsboro – Middle Housing Rules – as a part of implementation, the planning staff reported to the Council about the important work being done to adopt new required housing rules.
- Work Session – How To Make Housing More Affordable –
- Several Proclamations were issued, including one for Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month
- A Planned Unit Development (PUD) was approved on Jackson School Road for 14 lots – read the approval here! This is a much-needed smaller infill project near the heart of the City!
- Work Session – Youth Advisory Council presents on a wide variety of topics.
- Dan Dias presented Community Development Block Grant Program – Read more here.
- Housing Hillsboro Comp Plan Amendment- Part of the Middle Housing Package- was presented for a vote- Eco NW also made a set of recommendations to the Council to Improve on the current state of affairs and to get more adoption of affordable housing. Part 2 of their report is here
- Community Engagement Work Session #2– Dan Rutzick – Planning
- Proclamation of Pride Month – Read Here Very Important
- Approve a $60,000 agreement with METRO to improve the MAX Crossing at 185th Avenue.
- South Hillsboro Transportation Development Fees – revised charges for South Hillsboro projects.
- June 7th- Executive Session – Unknown Subject- closed to the public
- City Policy On Naming – Presentation is Here
- Eleven Action Items – Consent Agenda Items Presented June 21st for various spending proposals and other items.
- Pay Raise for Stipends for Mayor and City Councilors approved – See amounts and decision here
- City of Hillsboro’s Annual Budget was reviewed and approved. The number for our City Budget has now exceeded $1 Billion per year. The Approved Budget amount is $1,039,949,126.
- Climate Friendly And Equitable Communities Rulemaking – This was the work session to advise the City on how to deal with the new State Laws on Climate & Parking – This has led to the City of Hillsboro joining with other Cities to sue the State of Oregon.
Under June 2022, the link for “City of Hillsboro’s Annual Budget was reviewed and approved” goes to the naming policy. Have you happened to do a review of the latest city budget? I’d very much like to see an analysis of it from the Herald.
You could have a team of forensic accountants and never understand this Budget. With the numbers going well over $1 billion, most of the Councilors or Budget Committee members do not either. They also did not include anything much from the “Industrial Lands” category- we have so many tax giveaways, funding mechanisms, and other techniques to keep businesses here that it boggles the mind! I will take a stab as I am able.
Have you got a take on it? Thanks for reading and supporting us!
I see. Since the city budget has reached such a milestone I want to read the budget summary. I haven’t ever done so before. Like anybody, I’m most interested in how tax money is spent. My only take is that I worry government is increasingly taking a role in the community as “throwing money” at problems, rather than us, the community, addressing problems, which may not necessarily require spending money at all.