Already on the hook for $10,000, residents protest another street fee

PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the past 12 years, Rick White and his wife have already been paying a street fee to the city of Portland every month.

White's argument against the proposed new citywide fee is simple: he says he's already paying it.

White and his wife are part of a community of homeowners who paid the city to convert their dirt roads into modern streets with money from their own pockets.

They've been paying a $77 fee to the city ever since the summer of 2002 when Southeast Boise St. was converted from gravel to pavement as part of the Lents Town Center redevelopment project.

"I'm not going to pay for this street twice," said White, who still owes thousands of dollars to the city.
White's total bill was $10,867, which comes partially due every month along with interest and fees.

His neighbors also paid thousands of dollars each for the upgrade back in 2002.

"I didn't see anybody else in the city come here and help me or anybody else on the street pay for this," he said. "But now they want me to contribute to pay for other people's streets. Wait a minute. There's something wrong with that thinking."

White's house on Southeast Boise St. was paved under the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Plan that was approved by city hall in 1998.

His assessment was calculated in May 2002.