Eight Projects Worth $16 million Are in Jeopardy of Being Vetoed by Oregon Governor Kotek

Seven projects worth $14 million, plus a $2 million Old Town project in Portland, are in jeopardy of being vetoed by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, unless it can be proved that the money will pave the way for new housing.


Hard-Nose Stance Has Come as a Surprise

Kotek’s hard-nose stance to a $100 million funding package approved by the Legislature in March has come as a surprise to Rep. David Gomberg, D-Otis, who was the chief instigator of the funding drive.

Kotek has announced that funding allocations must result in housing developments within the next five years. On Monday she indicated that she would veto financing of certain projects. The Governor has called for more information and will decide whether to veto earmarked projects by April 17.

A taken aback Gomberg said all the projects involved housing and “nothing but housing.” Gomberg said he was working with the governor’s office in the hopes of understanding and responding to her concerns.

Gomberg said one of the main criteria that had to be met by applicants was that their housing projects were “shovel-ready”” A direct funding approach would speed up the process of delivering new housing. Gomberg said direct funding would avoid months of delays for applications to be processed via a state agency.

Instead, the governor has announced that her office will review every project to confirm feasibility, scope, timeline, and cost to establish a connection between production and affordability.


Projects Under the Microscope

The projects under her microscope are:

  • $3 million for wastewater treatment facility upgrades, Oak Lodge Water Services Authority.
  • $3 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades, City of Siletz.
  • $3 million for upgrades to the pump station on SW 189th Avenue in Beaverton, Tualatin Valley Water District.
  • $2 million for Made in Old Town development Project, City of Portland.
  • $1.5 million for wastewater treatment plant and lift station upgrades, City of Butte Falls.
  • $1.5 million for the development of the city drinking water system, City of Shady Cove.
  • $1 million for wastewater treatment facility upgrades and connections to a regional treatment facility, City of Creswell
  • $1 million for replacement of a water distribution main line and improvements and upgrades to water treatment facilities, City of Gold Hill


Gov. Kotek had originally suggested that cities apply to the state for funding, but to save time and red-tape, lawmakers decided to cut through bureaucracy and fund projects directly. There are a total of 44 projects statewide on the funding list, of which eight have come under Kotek’s microscope.



In March, it was reported that Legislators had decided to send $100 million directly to cities needing to improve aging sewer system infrastructures that could hamper housing development.

The Made in Old Town development project wants to relocate footwear and apparel manufacturing, designed in Oregon, and currently manufactured in Asia, to the struggling Old Town neighborhood in Portland. The Old Town Community Association is part of a movement to return employment, housing, office, and retail space to the struggling district.

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