Roundup: Oregon Sustainability Center
September 21, 2011
- Oregonian Editorial: Big unknowns still dog an Oregon Sustainability Center - "Plainly, some things remain unclear. Fish was correct to worry that the city could face a $250,000-a-year hit to its general fund if anticipated tenants in the center don't or can't honor their leases. That means Portland taxpayers would be on the hook as well as OUS, and Fish wondered aloud whether it didn't make sense to seek equity stakes from Oregon tech companies that cheer the center's concept and could profit from its work."
- Portland Mercury: Worst-Case Risk Scenario for Oregon Sustainability Center: Millions Bled from City Budget - "But in the end, despite Adams' gentle insistence, he couldn't bring Fish and Fritz on board. Fish was the bigger stickler, worrying that future councils and future taxpayers could be saddled with a sizable debt burden...'I want to support this project, and I want next year to come back and look at the hard numbers that give me the confidence we got it right,' Fish said. 'I compliment the mayor for his persistence but my job is to do the best analysis.'"
- Portland Tribune: Council splits but approves "Living Building" Ownership - "The City Council barely approved moving forward with planning on the Oregon Sustainability Center on Wednesday, voting by a 3-2 margin to enter into an ownership agreement with the Oregon University System on the so-called Living Building to be constructed on the edge of the Portland State University campus."
- Oregonian: Portland City Council votes 3-2 on Oregon Sustainability Center - "Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish voted against the resolution that commits Portland to working with the Oregon University System on a final deal for the project...Fritz and Fish voted no because they have outstanding questions about the center's financial risk to the city's general fund, they said. Both said they supported the concept. And Fish signaled he may vote for the final deal if his concerns are addressed. 'I have yet to conclude that it is financially sustainable,' Fish said."
- OPB: Portland City Council Backs Sustainability Center - "The vote followed two hours of testimony and discussion about the virtues of the triple net-zero building concept, which supporters say would become a model of sustainability for other cities to follow and an economic driver for Oregon's green building and technology sectors...The question that seemed to be running through the debate at City Hall this morning was: How much short-term financial risk is the city willing to take on for potential long-term environmental and economic sustainability?"
- OPB: City Council Approves Spending $1.5M More On Sustainability - "The project also needs legislative approval for state-backed bonds. Lawmakers rejected those in the last session. A key legislative committee will discuss the project this week. Backers hope to break ground next summer."