Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish tells WW that as soon as he was given the Water Bureau to oversee, he gave his staff an order: "Sell the goddamned Water House."

The city has made the sale, though at a huge loss.

On Jan. 4, the city unloaded that controversial building—a water-efficient demonstration home that cost utility ratepayers roughly $940,000.

The buyers, Portland couple Claudio and Keyla Vasquez, agreed to pay $394,950 (down from the city's original $475,000 asking price). 

The Vasquezes are getting a nice pad, judging from this video tour:

The home, a tastefully decorated three-bedroom ranch house at 1616 NE 140th Ave., was approved by former  Commissioner Randy Leonard and his colleagues on Portland City Council in 2009, with plans to showcase water conservation and turn a profit on a sale.

But costs ballooned, and the project has become a symbol of waste for a coalition of ratepaying businesses aiming to take control of Portland's water and sewer bureaus away from City Hall in the May election.

Fish, who is also running for reelection next May, put the building on the market last August—and quickly slashed the asking price. He wants the sale to show he's reigning in utility spending.

"It's a new day," Fish says, "and I'm committed to staying focused on our most important job: delivering the best water in the country to our customers."

Read more water news—including the latest on a copyright fight over the Portland Loo—in this week's edition of Murmurs.