City Hall Update: 'Poop to Power' program launches
Portland opened its first natural gas fueling station at the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant in North Portland on Thursday.
The gas will be produced from methane that historically has been generated during the sewage treatment process and burned off at the plant after producing a little electricity. A partnership approved between the Bureau of Environmental Service and NW Natural will result in almost all of the methane being converted to renewable natural gas.
The opening was announced at a news conference attended by Commissioner Nick Fish, who is in charge of BES, and Bill Edmonds, NW Natural's director of environmental policy. The new "Poop to Power" program is expected to eliminate 21,000 tons of greenhouse gases, replace over 1 million gallons of diesel fuel, and generate around $3 million each year for sewer ratepayers.
Renter protections expanded
On Wednesday, the City Council unanimously voted to expand and make permanent a temporary renter protection policy adopted in February 2016 intended to address the affordable housing crisis.
The policy requires landlords to pay relocation costs ranging from $2,900 to $4,500 to tenants subject to no-cost evictions or who choose to move if their rents are raised more than 10 percent a year. The council revoked an exemption for landlords who own just one rental unit, except in limited circumstances.
The changes were supported by renter advocates and opposed by many landlords. They became effective immediately.
Broadway Corridor finalists announced
Three finalists for advising the city on the redevelopment of the Broadway Corridor site at the west end of the Broadway Bridge were announced Friday by Prosper Portland, formerly known as the Portland Development Commission.
Denver-based McWhinney has proposed a partnership with the James Beard Public Market, which has been working to open a food center in Portland. New York-based Related Cos. has partnered with the local Melvin Mark development firm and nonprofit Central City Concern social service agency. And Denver-based Continuum Partners is citing its history of success on urban redevelopment projects.
The finalist will be selected after a March 21 public forum and will have the first chance to offer a proposal for the 32-acre site.