PORTLAND — After a steady stream of complaints from residents and businesses alike, city officials say they may delay some decisions surrounding the fees. Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales said they think the council should decide to increase charges Portlanders to maintain streets and make safety improvements. The council will hear opinions from the public on Thursday at 2 p.m. at City Hall.
The general home owner’s potential cost could be up to $140 a year. Proportionally, businesses stand to potentially pay significantly more, possibly thousands of dollars a month based on generated traffic. Novick and Hales support the idea in conflict with Commissioners Nick Fish and Dan Salzman who feel it should first be put to a public vote.
Amanda Fritz isn’t convinced. Neither are all the people who have been raising concerns
“My hope would be that we could slow down and get a public vote,” said Brian Alfano of Venture Portland. “This is a big decision. It’s big for our city, big for our citizens and big for businesses.”
The mayor’s office spokesman Dana Hanes said wednesday that although Hales is moving ahead with the initiative, city officials are reconsidering street fees for businesses for the time being.
“I think we will slow down the implementation by weeks on the business side,” Hanes said.
Questions about the fee structure regarding food carts, brick-and-mortar restaurants and grocery stores with designated parking needs further consideration. The decision about homeowner fees will be implemented on schedule because that issue is less complicated, he said.
Even still, Hanes emphasized two points for Hales.
“We’ve got to do this, we’ve got to have a fee to take care of our roads,” he said. And, “Everybody should pay.”