Thursday, April 28, 2011
Don't subsidize developers; vote NO on road bond
Under terms of his agreement with the city, Pahlisch agreed to pay nearly $500,000 toward the cost of the roundabout at 15th and Reed Market once he builds his 101st home in his nearby Bridges high-density subdivision.
But, if the bond measure passes, Pahlisch won't have to pay a dime, even he builds all of his nearly 400-home subdivision.
And, since the city is no longer collecting SDCs (system development charges) that help pay for roads in Bend, developers won't have to pay anything for the impact their developments have on roads in Bend.
Why must Bend property owners subsidize developers? Why doesn't the city demand that developers pay their fair share?
Naturally, the builders' union and developers are underwriting the campaign to pass the road bond measure because it's a fraction of what they would have to pay otherwise.
As for the bond measure itself, the bridge that is included on the Reed Market portion does not go over the railroad tracks. That bridge won't be built for decades, if ever. No, the bridge in the measure moves American Lane west a few feet and it'll need a new bridge over the canal.
Also, the Reed Market portion of the bond represents $18.3 million of the $30 million measure. But, if the other five projects go over-budget, which they will, the Reed Market work may not get done at all. The city will reason that if they don't have enough money to do it right, why do it at all. Reed Market was a city priority five years ago, and no improvements have ever taken place.
Finally, if Bend is serious about fixing its roads, it must approve a gas tax, which taxes the people who actually use the roads. Until it does so and until it demands something from developers, property owners should just say no to higher taxes.