The Eugene City Council is proposing a new downtown urban renewal district of $50 million over 19 years. I strongly oppose this, again. The council’s had numerous versions over decades already. There is a whole city out there, and all they do is support downtown. When will they put some urban renewal money to other blighted areas?
Three needy areas come to mind: Hwy 99, the scenic gateway to our city from the airport. Really? That is one blighted area.
Another is West 11th Avenue way out. A concrete freeway that screams for workforce housing, parks, way more trees, motels, a large event venue, you name it. There is no residential cohesion that I can see.
Both West 6th and 7th avenues, starting from Chambers to over the railroad bridges, are also very needy.
They say they are willing to cut $1 million to save money. Jeeze, that’s very generous. But that $1 million will go back into the general fund? Why not a new urban renewal district, pitiful as that amount would be? You could even pull more from the downtown fund and add to the pot.
Downtown urban renewal has gone on too long. Between that and all the downtown tax deferments (MUPTEs) they give away, it’s no wonder they are having budget issues. Let contractors pay for what they build and for the infrastructure they need. I think downtown will always have big holes, no matter what you do. Enough already.