Portland city commissioners spoke favorably today of a proposed urban renewal area to benefit Portland State University. City leaders heard from supporters and critics.
Multnomah County and Portland Public Schools have been critical of the urban renewal in the past, because the renewal areas can siphon away property tax dollars. But county chair Jeff Cogen spoke in favor of the new urban renewal area around PSU.
“One of the things that this urban renewal area would do is provide 19 million dollars to Multnomah County to help build a new facility for our county department of human services,” says Cogen.
PSU is also committing to a research partnership with the county, worth over seven million dollars. Portland Public Schools also testified in favor. The new area would earmark ten million dollars to help rebuild Lincoln High. Steve Manten argued against that provision.
“What you’re asking all the property owners in the city of Portland do is pay for this urban renewal district. That means people in Centennial district – out in deep Southeast – are going to be paying for Lincoln High School,” says Manten.
A council vote on the area is set for next week.