The Portland City Council is considering accepting a controversial Metro grant to improve access to the South Waterfront neighborhood.
On Wednesday the council will consider whether to offer $50,000 to match a $250,000 Metro Construction Excise Tax Planning grant. If approved, the money will be used to contract with DKS Associates for development of the South Portal Partnership Project to improve transportation options into South Waterfront from the south.
Metro approved the small excise tax with the support of the Home Builders of Metropolitan Portland seven years ago. It amounts to $240 on a new home with $200,000 in improvements and generated $2.4 million in the region in the last fiscal year.
When the tax was approved, the HBA thought that most if not all of the money raised by the tax would be spent to help plan properties that had been brought into the Urban Growth Boundary administered by Metro but not yet developed. Instead, Metro awarded some of the money for planning in already developed areas, including parts of Portland.
Read more at The Portland Tribune.