April 30th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Transportation, Environment

Streetcar Money Arrives Late in Water District Ballot Fight

lede_4025(pipes)PIPE DREAMS: New construction, like a $25 million project in the Bull Run Watershed that includes installing these pipes, is the single largest factor in Portland’s rising water bills. - IMAGE: Aaron Mesh

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has been working the after-hours phones and sending out mass emails trying to raise money to fight the ballot measure that would remove City Hall's control of water and sewer utilities.

Those pleas have now netted donations from Hales' longtime allies in streetcar construction—including his former employer.

HDR, Inc., the engineering company where Hales worked for a decade marketing streetcar systems, has used its federal political action committee to donate $1,000 to the "no" campaign on Measure 26-156.

That money joins a $5,000 donation made last week by another streetcar and light-rail builder—and big Hales mayoral campaign donor—Stacy & Witbeck. That company is currently building TriMet's Portland-Milwaukie light-rail project.

Other new contributions to the "Stop the Bull Takeover PAC" include Powell's Books owner Michael Powell ($1,000) and the Fire Fighters Political Action Committee ($5,000).

On the "yes" side, the backers of the measure, which would create a new public utility, picked up another big check from Portland Bottling Co., the soda-pop manufacturer furious over its water bills.

The Portland Bottling donation dwarfs those on the "no" side: It's $25,000.

 
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