Mayor’s Corner: August 2023

498
- Advertisement -

This summer, I’ve been talking with our community about our progress on the four City Council goals: Reducing houselessness, addressing our impact on the climate crisis, modernizing city services, and enhancing community safety and accessibility. 

As we remain focused on these goals and delivering results for Tigard, we also know that there are challenges in our community that we can’t solve alone.

That’s why we work closely with our partners in the region and all levels of government that represent Tigard, including neighboring cities, Washington County, our state legislators, and our federal delegation who represent us in Congress. We all have different roles, positioned at different levels, but we are all on the same team. I wanted to share with you all some of the results and progress that these partnerships are delivering.

Working with Our Partners in Salem: Priorities for the State Legislative Session

One of our key priorities for the state’s legislative session that ended on June 25 was to seek a jurisdictional transfer of Hall Boulevard from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to the City of Tigard, along with state resources for repairs and safety investments. 

As a city, we engaged the state legislature throughout the session. Tigard City Council President Yi-Kang Hu testified before the chief budget-writing committee, and I testified in Salem on HB 2756, the legislation to direct and authorize the transfer of Hall Boulevard. You, our community, also showed up by sending over 70 public comments in 48 hours to Representative Bowman’s office.

That advocacy showed results – the City was allocated $3 million in state funds for safety improvements on Hall Boulevard in the budget agreement. The legislature passed HB 2793, sponsored by Representative Bowman, to establish a process to prioritize applications that are ready for a jurisdictional transfer. While we weren’t allocated the full amount for repairs and safety improvements, with an upcoming transportation package in the 2025 session, Tigard’s application will be well-positioned. We’re thankful to Representative Bowman and the Oregon Legislature for their show of support.

While Hall Boulevard was one of our main focuses, we also advocated for a variety of other bills and issues, such as homelessness support, climate bills, housing, and others. We will continue to work for you outside of the session, too.

Partnering with Our Congressional Delegation to Secure Federal Investments

Working closely with Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, this year, we have secured a total of $1.8 million in federal investments for three of Tigard’s projects:

  • Emergency Heating and Cooling Center – $500,000 – Replace HVAC system in Tigard Public Library to serve as relief for all community members during extreme weather events.
  • Houselessness Community Service Officer (CSO) – $300,000 – Fund a full-time CSO and services to provide support and resources to our houseless community members.
  • Hall Blvd – $1 million (ODOT) – Safety improvements

Our U.S. Senators, Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden, are working to secure federal investments for the construction of a community room and canopy at Universal Plaza.

We are hopeful these investments will be included in the final funding agreement that Congress will approve later this year. 

Our collaboration with our regional, state, and federal partners is paying off and delivering results for Tigard. We’ll keep working with them to make progress – and I will continue to keep you updated.

I value input from all parts of our community. You can always reach me at 971-435-0964 or heidil@tigard-or.gov, or you can connect to the whole City Council at CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov

- Advertisement -