Portland City Council OKs plan to cover open-air reservoirs

Portland City Council OKs plan to cover open-air reservoirs

Credit: Werewombat

Washington Park Reservoirs

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM

PORTLAND -- The Portland City Council has been fighting covering the city's water reservoirs for years.

KGW confirmed the city will officially stop the fight Monday and announce a plan to cover the city’s water supply.

Portland is one of the only cities left in the country that still hasn't capped its reservoirs. There are two uncapped reservoirs in Washington Park plus reservoirs at Mount Tabor. The city’s other reservoirs are underground.

The feds and the state first started telling Portland to shut down or cover its open-air reservoirs eight years ago, but the city kept filing for extensions as it searched for alternatives.

In February their request for another extension was denied. So now, the mayor's office says the city council is done fighting.

“The answer from the state, the feds and the courts was no, no and no. So on Monday, the mayor and commissioners will release a letter saying OK. That's it. We are moving forward with protecting and enhancing our reservoirs,” said spokesman Dana Haynes with the Mayor’s Office.

Haynes says everyone on the council signed that letter supporting the new reservoir plan except Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

According to the new plans, the reservoir at Mount Tabor will be disconnected. One of the two reservoirs in Washington Park will be closed and the other one will be covered with a reflection pool, so it won't look much different.

Two newly covered reservoirs will be built at Kelly Butte and Powell Butte. All the work is expected to be complete by 2020.

There are no cost estimates yet because the community will be very involved in the process going forward.

KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report.

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