December 31st, 2009 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Surprise Resolution Offers Paulson Green Light on PGE Park Construction

Sam Adams' Air-Quote Kung Fu
The City Council agenda for Jan. 6 now lists Mayor Sam Adams' resolution to allow Merritt Paulson's company to begin tearing out turf at PGE Park.

The surprise resolution would allow Paulson to begin renovating the city-owned PGE Park for Major League Soccer — without a final financial agreement in place with the city.

Or, as the resolution says: "to execute a Revocable Permit of Entry to allow Peregrine Sports, LLC access to PGE Park to conduct non-construction evaluation and preparation activities."

So what exactly does "non-construction" mean?

We point you to Exhibit A of the surprise resolution [emphasis ours]:
Scope of Work

• Preparatory work for the future build out of Field Level restrooms near the Widmer concessions area.
• Install new urinals and associated plumbing on concourse level men's restrooms.
• Relocate electrical transformer behind outfield wall.
• Preparatory work for installation of foundation systems, including removal of eastern portion of field turf, removal of outfield wall and associated signage as well as surveying work.
• Survey, layout and other preparatory work related to the planned modifications to the south access road.

As Adams spokesman Roy Kaufmann says, this is "non-construction" work because it's "stuff that can be done that can be undone," he says.
Or it's work that would be considered an improvement at PGE Park, he adds.

Since there's still no final financial agreement between the City of Portland and Peregrine, the revocable permit contains the following language [emphasis ours]:
"Unless City Council has approved definitive documents between Permittee and the City for the renovation of the Property prior to the expiration or termination of this Permit, Permittee shall fully restore the Property to the same or better condition as existed immediately prior to the start of the work authorized under this Permit, provided that the City shall not require removal of any facility upgrades installed pursuant to the Scope of Work. Permittee shall repair any damage to the Permit Area or Property, including the Tanner Creek Sewer, caused by its exercise of its rights under this Permit and shall do so at Permittee's sole expense and to the satisfaction of the City. Sections of the existing field turf removed under this Permit must be replaced with new field turf of the same or better quality and must be warranted by Field Turf in accordance with the warranty on the existing Field Turf. Any work done at, on or in the Permit Area or Property shall be performed by Permittee in a careful and workmanlike manner using licensed, insured and bonded contractors."

The permit has a drop-dead expiration date of Feb. 15. Adams staffer Amy Ruiz says the city will have a financial agreement with Paulson by that date.

The surprise New Year's Eve deal contains another surprise footnote. Apparently, a delicate sewer line, the Tanner Creek sewer, runs under PGE Park, and the City of Portland is at least moderately worried about its condition during "non-construction" activities. According to the permit:
"Permittee shall cordon off the alignment of the Tanner Creek sewer as it runs underneath the park using barricades, cones or other devices. This is being required to minimize vehicle movements over the top of the alignment and to prevent the parking of vehicles or equipment over the sewer alignment. Permittee shall protect the sewer alignment when vehicles must cross the alignment by overlaying the alignment area with plywood or metal plates."

Tanner Creek was the subject of an 1893 U.S. Supreme Court case. The name? Paulsen v. Portland. Nice.

As part of the permit, Paulson will be asked to videotape the sewer line to document its condition following "non-construction." There's something poetic about that, no? There's a river of shit flowing under this deal.
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