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December 05, 2016

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Goodbye Councilors Bennett, McCoid, Nanke, Lewis, Bednarz. You sealed your fate. "Clueless" is right.

Brian, when you say the Coucilors that supported last night's motion voted to impose a $1.50 toll, you're completely talking out of your ass and you know it. The vote was purely about a LOCATION for a future third bridge. Of course it will cost money to build a future bridge, and the costs of building it could come from any number of sources. Tolls may be an option, they may not be, but last nights vote was purely about where the bridge would be located and NOTHING to do with how it's paid for. Either you know that and chose to lie about it, or you're just uneducated. Which is it?

Ben, I just added an update to this post that is my response to your comment. Here it is:
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Update: a commenter, Ben, challenged my assertion that five city councilors voted to approve a $1.50 each way toll on the Third Bridge and existing bridges, plus other tax/fee increases. Well, that is what they did when they voted to move ahead with the bridge via an urban growth boundary expansion.

This bridge isn't going to build itself. Somebody has to pay for it.

And the official funding plan is exactly as I described it. See image below. It makes no sense to claim, as Ben did, that all the City Council did last night is vote for a location for the bridge. That isn't how the way federal/state planning of this sort works.

Everything is tied together. The Salem River Crossing folks have been busily working simultaneously on a bridge design, location, funding plan, environmental impact statements, and such. These can't be separated out, as some City officials like Chuck Bennett have been claiming.

For example, the environmental impact statement is based on a specific bridge design, in a specific location, with a specific cost, and a specific strategy for paying that cost. I wrote about this in "Mayor-elect Bennett doesn't understand Third Bridge approval process."

"You can't settle on a plan for a $430 million bridge (known as the Preferred Alternative), submit an Environmental Impact Statement and funding strategy based on that plan, and later tell the Federal Highway Administration, 'Hey, now we're going to do something very different; hope that's OK with you guys.'

It won't be. Bait and Switch not only is fraudulent, often it is illegal.

Bennett seems to think that a cute cheap little 2-lane bridge could be substituted for the half-billion-dollar Third Bridge if that's what Salem citizens 'feel would serve their needs and they'd be willing to pay for.'

This isn't my understanding of how the federal approval process works.

First the bridge is designed. A credible funding plan is developed to go with the design. Then all that is sent in to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. Bennett seems to think the approval comes first, and the design plus funding plan can be... whatever.

Hopefully some City official can educate Mayor-elect Bennett about how the process really works."

Moving ahead with the bridge thus means moving ahead with the funding plan. Here it is, in all its billion dollar glory (a likely cost after inflation, cost overruns, and financing costs are included).

And who is paying for the unneeded, unwanted, waste of taxpayers money, bum, hoe-Bo, transient, walk bridge from the riverfront to Brown's Island?
I am 100% in favor of a $5.00 toll each way on that boondoggle.
But due to the clientele; you cant get blood out of a turnip!

Brian, you're flat out wrong. Either outright lying, or woefully uneducated. The FEIS process requires a CONCEPTUAL funding plan, which is what the City has produced. AGAIN, it's a conceptual plan, showing where funds 'could' come from, not where they 'will' come from. Nothing the Council has done to this point will definitively result in a toll as you have alleged. Now, before the FHWA will authorize construction the City has to come up with a final Financial Plan, where the actual financing is figured out, but we're not there yet.

As a community, we may decide that tolling is unpalatable and we need other sources to find the bridge. And if those sources don't come through, maybe the bridge never gets built. But to say the Council has voted to implement a $1.50 toll is a lie.

You and I may disagree on whether a bridge should be built or not. That's fine. But stop twisting and misrepresenting facts as you make your arguments.

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