Oregon

Metro Misses Deadline, But Still Planning Offer For Blue Heron Site

OPB | Dec. 15, 2011 7:06 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:02 a.m. | Portland, OR

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Metro officials said Thursday that they’re not ready to make an offer on a promising, but problematic, industrial site next to Willamette Falls. The regional government didn’t make an offer on the old mill site by Wednesday’s deadline.

Metro has spent months considering whether to spend money out of its parks bond to acquire the old Blue Heron paper mill site in Oregon City. The property is in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee.

While officials didn’t put a number in writing, Metro’s Jim Desmond says they’re still very interested in acquiring the site because it could be a park with scenic, historic and cultural attributes. But he says it has downsides, too.

“We felt that the unknowns regarding the property were still too great for us to have full confidence to make a firm, binding commitment in dollars and cents.” Desmond said.

Desmond points to at least two areas they want to investigate more: the environmental condition of the site, and its structural integrity. But he says Metro officials are optimistic that their effort with state and local officials will still lead to an offer – and a park eventually.

The bankruptcy trustee in the matter didn’t return a call for comment.

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