City plans to sell Water House - KPTV - FOX 12

City plans to sell Water House, admits it will lose thousands in tax payer money

Posted: Updated:
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The City of Portland's Water Bureau says they have plans to sell their Water House and admit in doing so, they will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payer money.

The house on the 1600 block of NE 140th was built to teach developers water conservation practices, and inspire home owners to do the same.

The city says since the home was built in 2011, 2500 people have toured the home to get ideas about conserving water.

The original plans to build the Water House were brought to the table by former city Commissioner Randy Leonard who oversaw the Water Bureau at the time. His plan was approved by Portland's City Council and sponsored by 41 local businesses.

But, now Commissioner Nick Fish is in charge of the bureau, and says it's in the best interest of tax payers to sell the home.

"It is disappointing for the Water Bureau that the house ended up costing as much as it did, and we sure do want to apologize to rate payers," said Tim Hall with the Portland Water Bureau.

According to city documents, the original contract for the home was $310,900.

The plan was for the home to be built with similar characteristics of other homes in the neighborhood.

In the end, those documents show the Portland Water Bureau invested close to $950,000 in hard and soft costs to build the house.

"It's a good example of how the city shouldn't be in the development business," said Portland resident Jeff Wallach.

The home is now listed for $475,000. A price that stuns some people who live nearby.

"I'm sure it will affect property taxes, but maybe it will increase my home value, and there's a little good in that, a silver lining," said neighbor Theresa Jepsen.

The city says money from the sale of the house will go into Water Bureau funds that will help lower city rates for customers.

"I know the goal is to get us to be educated, and to be aware and be efficient with things, but they could have done it in a better way," said Portland resident Simona Babalai.

"I think they should make Randy Leonard live in it and pay rent," said Wallach.

Randy Leonard was not available for an interview, but told FOX 12 over the phone that he stands behind the decision to build the home, because it helped to demonstrate ways to conserve water.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.