Do We Really Need This Fountain?
When: Tue Apr 3, 2012 6:00PM
Where: Gresham City Hall
1333 NE Eastman Pky
$1.5 million Children's Fountain Loan Application
A couple of weeks ago, the City of Gresham posted an obscure 24-page document titled "Five Year FY 2011-2016 Consolidated Plan Amendment / Amendment to the One Year Action Plan 2011-2012" on the City's "Children's Fountain" webpage (http://greshamoregon.gov/city/) by following the Read More link. The key part of this lengthy HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) application document is on the back page, where it says that the City "intends to utilize HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee assistance to create a Section 108 Loan Pool" and that the City "intends to apply for a Section 108 Guaranteed Loan in 2011-2012 to develop a Children's Fountain in Gresham's downtown......for $1.5 million to aid in the elimiation of slum and blight in downtown Gresham."
It turns out that the City intends to pay back the loan ($110,000/yr. for 20 yrs.) from it's annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds (currently $900,000) from HUD. These CDBG funds typically pay for things like affordable housing and public improvements in qualified neighborhoods.
At a recent Community Development & Housing Subcommittee meeting committee members questioned:
- why the City was building a fountain at this time,
- whether the fountain would really bring more shoppers to downtown,
- how downtown qualified for a Section 108 loan,
- why the fountain costs $1.5 million,
- what would happen if HUD again cut the City's CDBG funds & the City couldn't repay the loan with them,
- what the annual maintenance costs for the fountain (not part of grant) would be.
You'll find the City's 2-page Children's Fountain project flyer here. You can find a 5-page Case Studies of other such fountains (Jamison Square-Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton and Maryland) compiled by City staff here. We encourage neighbors to take a few moments to review these documents. Written public comment due no later than 4:30pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012.
(Click 'Read More' link below for more details and project concerns.)