This post is taken from the Washington County Updates Newsletter (Summer 2015). Click to view.

The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in June unanimously approved a transportation finance program to meet transportation needs in four high-growth residential areas – without raising County taxes or fees.
The program, which was also unanimously endorsed by the Washington County Coordinating Committee, is a partnership between Washington County and the cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Tigard to share in the funding of a list of capacity and safety projects in four major residential growth areas. These projects are located in:High Growth Funding Program
  • North Bethany/Bonny Slope West (unincorporated Washington County)
  • South Hillsboro (City of Hillsboro)
  • South Cooper Mountain (City of Beaverton)
  • River Terrace (City of Tigard)
These areas are slated for development simultaneously. Based on community planning efforts and extensive review of growth and transportation trends, it is expected that about 18,000 homes – and thousands of additional vehicles – will result from these areas in the next 20 years. Many County roads will need improvements to accommodate the increased traffic and to improve safety for new and existing residents.

“The growth is going to occur, and we need to deal with it proactively. As always, our goal with this program is to provide residents with safe, efficient roadways as cost-effectively as possible.”
Andy Duyck, BCC Chairman
“This is an innovative cost-sharing partnership allowing the County and cities to make transportation improvements – without raising property taxes – before deficient roadways become problematic.”
Andrew Singelakis, Director of Land Use & Transportation
The program includes:
  • Cost sharing – Two-thirds of the $140 million cost will be funded by the County; the remaining one-third will be funded by the cities. This formula is based on travel forecasting that estimates that, on average, only one-third of travelers using the improved roads will result from the new developments. The remaining traffic will be “regional travel” – trips that begin and end outside of the high-growth areas.
  • Bonding – The County will issue bonds to fund two-thirds of the project costs. Bonds will be repaid using revenue growth from the countywide property tax-based Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP).
  • Development contributions – Cities may use Transportation Development Tax (TDT) and other development-based revenues to fund one-third of the project costs.
  • Partnerships – Additional partnerships may result in cost-sharing. For example, the BCC also approved an intergovernmental agreement with Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the City of Hillsboro for water system improvements on the MSTIP 3d SW 124th Avenue Extension Project, which will lower overall costs and minimize community impacts.
  • Preserving funds for other projects – Existing MSTIP funds will be preserved for improvements on other roadways throughout Washington County. By funding high-growth area road improvements through MSTIP-backed bonds, these high-growth projects will not compete with other transportation projects for regular MSTIP funds.
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