Measure 26-80 passing handily in unofficial returns
Nov. 8, 2006
Contact: Ken Ray, 503-797-1508, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Nov. 7, voters in the Portland metropolitan region approved a $227.4 million bond measure directing Metro to purchase natural areas, parks and streams, according to unofficial election returns.
As of 8:30 a.m. today, Ballot Measure 26-80 passed with a “yes” vote of 58.6 percent.
“The voters have indicated that they care deeply about preserving our most valuable natural areas for future generations,” said Metro Council President David Bragdon. “Our collective efforts to acquire and protect natural areas will preserve the best remaining open spaces, enhance our network of trails, and provide greater access to nature for the citizens of this region.”
Measure 26-80’s approval enables the preservation of natural areas and the protection of rivers, streams and creeks at the regional, local and neighborhood levels:
Measure 26-80 was modeled after a successful $135.6 million package approved by the region’s voters in May 1995. As a result of the 1995 measure, Metro acquired more than 8,100 acres of natural areas throughout the region, including 74 miles of stream and river frontage. Nearly one million trees and shrubs were planted, and more than 20,000 volunteer hours contributed to restoration efforts.
The Metro Council has already approved exclusive options to purchase a few selected parcels from willing sellers contingent upon Measure 26-80’s passage. Some of those parcels include a nearly 50-acre addition to Forest Park in Portland, almost 53 acres containing critical headwaters and tributaries of the Tualatin River, and 112 acres of forest land along Abernethy Creek near Oregon City.
The natural areas acquisition program will operate entirely on a willing-seller basis with local property owners. Lands purchased through this bond measure will be retained in public ownership.
It is estimated that owners of property within Metro’s jurisdiction will pay an assessment of 19 cents per $1000 of assessed value in the first year. For a home assessed at $175,000, that amounts to $33.25. The annual assessment rate is expected to decline over time as the region’s population grows and the property base expands. These estimates are based on an anticipated 20-year payoff period.
All of the expenditures resulting from the passage of Measure 26-80 will be subject to annual independent audits published in a local newspaper. An independent citizen advisory committee will provide oversight on all elements of the program.
More information on Ballot Measure 26-80 and Metro’s natural areas acquisitions program can be found online at www.oregonmetro.gov/naturalareas.
Metro, the regional government that serves 1.3 million people who live in the 25 cities and unincorporated urban areas of the Portland metropolitan region, provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of our region. More information about Metro can be found online at www.oregonmetro.gov.