Portland homeless shelter project already over budget
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A push to open a homeless shelter in downtown Portland, Oregon, has run into budget issues over the cost of cleaning up the site where it’s planned.
Soil at the location beneath the Broadway Bridge is contaminated from nearby railroad tracks and must be covered with a protective cap estimated to cost $170,000, according to city documents.
Lisa Marandas, deputy director of Oregon Harbor of Hope, said the developer-run nonprofit overseeing the project has blown past its $100,000 budget for site cleanup and spent “in the $600,000 range.
“The costs are starting to rise and we’re looking at every avenue we can,” she told Portland’s development commission at its July meeting.
Mayor Ted Wheeler said he is aware of the issue.
Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle announced in April that he had donated $1.5 million for the project. A spokesman for Boyle declined to comment Friday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
Project backers set an aggressive timeline, saying the shelter would open this fall. Marandas said they are still hoping to make that deadline.
So far, no work has started to erect structures.
A representative of Wheeler signaled the city will cut its losses if the project doesn’t work out.
“We’re not going to throw good money after bad . if it doesn’t pencil, it doesn’t pencil,” Berk Nelson, a senior adviser to Wheeler, told the development commission.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com