Tualatin News in Brief: March 2021

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The City of Tualatin recently announced it will add a dedicated Maker Space to the Tualatin Public Library. Construction starts in February and is set to wrap up in May. (COURTESY/CITY OF TUALATIN)

Sewer, Stormwater Rate Increase Postponed Again

Tualatin rate payers will not see an increase in their sewer and stormwater rates until at least July. 

The Tualatin City Council has postponed a planned rate hike for the second time in order to give local residents financial breathing room under current economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Assistant City Manager and Finance Director Don Hudson, the decision matches a similar delay approved by regional service provider Clean Water Services. 

The City did raise its water and road utility rates last fall by $1.60 per month per household but put off a similar increase in sewer and stormwater fees. This means the normally planned annual rate increase will be around 1.5 percent higher than normal when it goes into effect in July. 

Hudson said the City’s financial reserves allowed them to give rate payers a temporary break. In addition, planned improvements to sewer and stormwater systems in Basalt Creek will be paid for by Clean Water Services and not the City. 

“There will not be a rate impact for the city,” Hudson said. “So, I am very comfortable recommending to the council waiting until July 1 to do a rate increase.”

Council Approves Library Maker Space Project

Tualatin’s creative minds will soon have a new resource to work with. 

The Tualatin City Council recently approved a contract with general contractor Inline Construction to build a 735 square foot maker space in the Tualatin Public Library. The new maker space will accommodate both physical and digital creations using a wide range of tools, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, a pottery kiln, vinyl printing equipment and more. It will be carved out of existing space in the library and will replace a portable, trailer-based maker space the Library has been using up until now. 

“It’s a collaborative creative space where people can create physical objects and digital media, and where the library can host collaborative programs,” Library Director Jerrianne Thompson told the Council at its Jan. 25 meeting. 

Construction on the new space was set to start in February and is scheduled to wrap up in May. 

The estimated $425,000 cost will come from a mix of City funding and money raised for the project by the Tualatin Library Foundation. 

Mayor Frank Bubenik was competitive with his assessment. 

“It’s something to brag about over Beaverton and Hillsboro, and especially Beaverton,” he said with a laugh.