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Infrastructure workshops

Planning and conservation    Planning library    Regional infrastructure    Workshops

Throughout this analysis, Metro has engaged service providers, local elected officials, planning directors and interested citizens to identify the challenges of providing infrastructure and opportunities to work together to meet the region's needs.

Three workshops have been held so far:

Workshop #1 – Oct. 19, 2007
Workshop #2 – Feb. 22, 2008
Workshop #3 – May 28, 2008

Workshop #1 – Oct. 19, 2007

About 50 service providers and local government officials met at the Oregon Convention Center to share information on the challenges they face in providing essential public services to new and expanding communities.

An overview presentation was given by Todd Chase of FCS Group describing Metro's Regional Infrastructure Analysis. Other presenters discussed infrastructure challenges in redeveloping existing urban areas, challenges to providing new infrastructure in newly developing areas, and the importance of sustainability considerations in future infrastructure design and delivery.
Download a copy of Todd Chase's presentation

Attendees at the workshop participated in small group discussions and were asked to describe the particular challenges they face in providing infrastructure services to new and existing areas. While challenges vary based on service type and location, some common themes emerged from these discussions:

  • Better coordination among service providers is necessary to achieve efficiencies in service delivery
  • Building public understanding of the nature of infrastructure challenges and engaging the public in finding funding solutions is critical

Download a copy of the notes from the small group discussions

Information received at this workshop was incorporated into Metro's analysis of the broad scope of infrastructure needs across the region and informed subsequent discussions about which types of infrastructure are most important in building great communities.

Workshop #2 – Feb. 22, 2008

More than 55 infrastructure service providers and other interested persons attended the second workshop at Metro Regional Center to discuss national and regional growth trends and their impacts on the development of infrastructure.

Arnold Cogan of Cogan Owens Cogan and Todd Chase of FCS Group delivered a presentation on infrastructure needs and gaps that summarized:

  • Preliminary results of the service provider questionnaire
  • National and regional growth
  • Infrastructure demand
  • Infrastructure costs

Download a copy of the Cogan/Chase presentation

The presentation was followed by two rounds of discussion. In the first round, meeting participants placed themselves groups categorized by infrastructure type (water, transportation and energy, sewer and stormwater, and parks/civic buildings/schools). Groups were asked two questions:

  1. Does the infrastructure atlas provide an adequate snapshot of regional infrastructure needs?
  2. What does it tell you about the state of infrastructure in the region?

In the second round of discussions, participants formed groups by sub-region. Three questions were posed to these groups:

  1. Are we adequately planning for projected growth?
  2. What are the institutional barriers to meeting infrastructure needs?
  3. What are some potential solutions for addressing these barriers?

Some of the main points that arose from those discussions are:

  • There is interest in what Metro is doing and how it might impact and be of assistance to service providers
  • Some issues are unique to particular infrastructure types
  • Providers are not looking for help in designing, building and operating systems - but funding is a challenge
  • There is agreement that regional or community level solutions are more efficient, sustainable, and cost effective, if local conditions can be met
  • More trust needs to be developed among service providers themselves and other governments to move forward with broader solutions
  • The public is difficult to engage on issues related to infrastructure; there is a presumption that services will be provided effortlessly

Following the discussions, Ted Kyle of Clackamas County Water Environment Services delivered a presentation that outlined sewer needs in Clackamas County.
Download a copy of Ted Kyle's presentation

Information from this workshop informed further development of potential strategies to address the region's infrastructure needs.
Download a summary of the second infrastructure workshop

Workshop #3 – May 28, 2008

About 90 local elected officials, planning directors, service providers, and private sector leaders met at a forum at the Oregon Convention Center to receive the results of Metro's Regional Infrastructure Analysis, begin a discussion about pursuit of a regional infrastructure funding strategy, and provide guidance on the approach to pursuing regional solutions to infrastructure challenges.

Charlie Hales, a former Portland City Commissioner now with HDR Engineering, provided an overview of how the nature of infrastructure development has changed over time, how the Metro region has been successful in creating walkable communities that have reduced infrastructure costs, and how innovative transportation design can shape development patterns in the future.
Download a copy of Charlie Hales' presentation (4.7M)

Stephan Lashbrook, interim city manager in Lake Oswego, presented the findings of Metro's Regional Infrastructure Analysis up to this point: what we have learned so far, what the estimated costs will be of addressing our infrastructure challenges, and how the region can invest in infrastructure to get the greatest return.
Download a copy of Stephan Lashbrook's presentation

Lane Shetterly, the chair of the State Task Force on Revenue Restructuring, provided an update of the task force's efforts and illustrated the effects of voter-approved initiatives and economic conditions on state and local revenues.
Download a copy of Lane Shetterly's presentation

At this workshop, participants were asked to identify the most urgent infrastructure challenges for the region to address and the approaches to be considered in addressing those challenges. The questions posed to the participants included:

  • What is your level of concern for each of the following components of great communities?
  • What level of urgency would you assign to each of the following infrastructure challenges for the region?
  • What priority would you assign to each of the following actions to address the region's most urgent infrastructure challenges?

The results of this exercise are illustrated in the document that can be downloaded from the link below. The highlights of this exercise indicated:

  • Transportation infrastructure (including transit), schools and basic infrastructure (water, sewer, stormwater and energy) were of highest concern to address, and
  • Political leadership, public support and education, and coordination among service providers are as important, if not more important, than just monetary investments in addressing the region's infrastructure challenges.

Download results of participant survey

From this workshop, Metro will be working with local governments, service providers, and leaders in the private sector to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategy to address the most pressing infrastructure challenges that hinder the growth and development of vibrant communities.

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