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City bond measures are worth supporting

The city of Lake Oswego placed two measures on the Nov. 6 ballot. A number of citizens have repeatedly asked for more opportunity to vote on significant city issues — this is their chance to make their voices heard.

Whether you are for or against Measure 3-405, the Lake Oswego Public Library bond issue, or Measure 3-406, the Boones Ferry Road bond issue, what’s clearly unfortunate for both is the timing. Lake Oswego, the region, the state, the nation and the world are still struggling in financial doldrums that are very challenging. We get that.

One of Lake Oswego’s pride and joys is its award-winning, patron-using library. Yet, it’s easy to see its limitations when you visit: It’s too small, many materials can’t be displayed, it has little in the way of community rooms and more.

Measure 3-405 asks voters to approve the city issuing general obligation bonds not to exceed $14 million to pay for a portion of the design and construction of a new library at First and B. The cost to residents would be an estimated 17 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value.

On the other side of the city, it’s clear the Lake Grove area has taken a backseat for years. Here the question is very different: Measure 3-406 asks voters to approve the city issuing general obligation bonds not to exceed $5 million for Boones Ferry Road improvements.

Travel along this main corridor in Lake Grove is no picnic for residents, businesses or visitors. A number of transportation issues make the drive disconcerting. This measure would start the process of addressing a number of those problems.

The total project cost here is estimated at $25.4 million, and that funding includes bond proceeds, urban renewal money and other sources. If Measure 3-406 passes, it is expected that property taxes would increase by 6 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value.

At the same time, a past general obligation bond issue will mature in June 2013. When that debt is paid off, citizens will see a reduction in annual property taxes of about 11.5 cents for every $1,000 in assessed value.

There’s no question that adding what we feel is a very modest amount to the tax burden now will pay off in huge dividends as we go forward as a city. For that reason, we are suggesting voters support both measures — 3-405 and 3-406 — as a relatively painless way to add to the progress the city has made in recent years.




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