Tonight the Salem City Council, in its Urban Renewal Agency guise, is going to decide whether to spend $200,000 to investigate possible pollution on private property that might affect a planned expansion of Riverfront Park.
Download New environmental tests loom for Riverfront park land
During environmental investigations related to the city's planned purchase of 3.8 acres at the former Boise Cascade site, a long-forgotten pipeline was found. The pipe, a remnant of a paper manufacturing operation's bleach plant, has raised environmental questions. Those questions will need to be answered before the city attempts to expand Riverfront Park.
John Wales, the city's urban development director, said the discovery of the buried pipe "was a surprise to everybody." The pipe isn't on the property the city intends to buy, but located nearby along railroad tracks above Pringle Creek, he said.
Here's how I see this situation.
I left a comment along this same line on the Statesman Journal story. Here's what other people have commented.
-- We know who really runs Salem and he's getting his way again. Thank you for questioning this. Shared.
-- Why it is the Chamber of Commerce way. It is called "socialized losses". Any profits made off of the city, Mountain West keeps it all. Any losses related to their privately owned land, the city pays for it. These people are the true socialist in America.
-- It is common knowledge that the land down there and the slough are toxic laden soups. From the old Coal Tar factory to Boise Cascade it has been a dump for more than a century. Why isn't Boise Cascade being forced to clean this up as well? You know.....I need to get one of my friends elected to the city council/mayor's office so the city will pay my bills as well.
-- When the city makes land purchases over market value and continues to invest in property that is not useful to the city, how do they think the city tax payers (You and I) are likely to approve upgrading city hall and police station? At this point I hope it all falls down around them. Let's not forget the possible $500,000 pay out to the owners of the River Eyesore Paddlewheeler over the next ten years.
-- Leaking dioxin into the river! Yikes! Did the City know this? Why haven't they done something about it a long time ago? And why didn't someone report this to the ODEQ long ago?
-- The Salem City Council paid a highly inflated price for the Mountain West parcel, and given Mountain West a free grant of $750,000? Now why do the citizens of Salem owe Mountain West a free environmental assessment on their property. Haven't we done enough?
-- Do you all remember back before the park was even built, all the discussion about the thousands of yards of soil that was going to have to be remediated before anything could go forward? Well, between you and me, I don't remember seeing any remediation effort going on long term or short and shazam! there was this cool new park and all this green grass separating us from all this bad and nasty stuff. Just saying.....