Tigard News in Brief: March 2020

Tigard police investigate hotel homicide

Local police and the Washington County Major Crimes Team were investigating the March death of a man at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Washington Square Road. The state medical examiner ruled that the death of Brian Lowes, 61, of Nehalem was a homicide, according to a Tigard police press release. Lowes reportedly checked into the hotel on Mar. 6 and was not seen again until later that day when hotel staff discovered him dead in his room. Lowes managed the “sprawling, forested acres of his uncle’s estate” in Nehalem according to his obituary. He is survived by a brother, a sister, his mother and extended family. Tigard Police asks anyone who may have information to call 503-718-2677 or email to [email protected].

City to pursue funding for path over HWY 217

City staff is looking for funding to build a bike and pedestrian path over Highway 217 that would connect downtown with the Tigard triangle as part of the SW Corridor project. The estimated cost of the multi-use path is about $12 million, according to a city staff report. In order for TriMet to include the path in its SW Corridor designs, the city must secure funding by January. “I think it’s critical that we have multimodal transportation on this connection as the SW Corridor is built,” Mayor Jason Snider said at a Mar. 3 meeting, during which the council gave staff the go-ahead to seek out funding sources. “I think it’s a huge lost opportunity to not have, at least at a minimum, pedestrian and bicycle connections on there.” Funding possibilities include Metro grants and U.S. Transportation Department funding, Economic Development Manager Lloyd Purdy told the council, adding that council authorization typically is the first step in securing such funding.

Tigard soliciting youth councilor applications

Meghan E. Turley
Meghan Turley

Tigard is accepting applications from local high school students interested in serving a one-year term as the city’s next youth councilor. The city created the position, currently held by Tigard High School senior Meghan Turley, last year to get a youth perspective on community issues. The youth councilor is expected to attend City Council meetings, where they can weigh in on issues from a seat on the council dais, and is invited to participate in community events. The next term will run from July 1 to June 30 of 2021. Applications are due by May 4. Apply here: www.tigard-or.gov/ycc/index.php

City to seek federal police grant

tigard policeThe City Council on Mar. 3 voted unanimously to authorize city staff to pursue a Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Grant. The so-called COPS grant would provide partial funding for two new fulltime patrol officers, Police Chief Kathy McAlpine told the council. The city has applied for the grant in the past without success. This time, McAlpine said, “We believe with our several years of fiscal constraints we, at least, have a compelling argument.” The total cost of two new officers over the four-year term of the grant would be $959,000, according to a staff report. The grant would cover $250,000 of that, and the city would fund the remaining $709,000. If voters approve a public safety levy – which will fund eight new patrol officers and a school resource officer – that will be on the May ballot, Tigard would withdraw its COPS grant application, according to the city.

Council gives support to two countywide levies

The City Council on Mar. 17 unanimously passed resolutions of support for Washington County library services and public safety levies set to be on the May 19 ballot. The public safety levy calls for a property tax rate of 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, which is a 5 cent per $1,000 increase over a current levy that expires in June 2021. If successful, the levy would fund public safety services in the county – including Sheriff’s Office services and District Attorney’s Office services – at current levels, and it would enhance some services. Washington County Cooperative Library Services is seeking to renew a levy, which also ends in June 2021, at the current rate of 22 cents per $1,000. If successful, that levy would maintain countywide library services at current levels.