Elephant center not in metro’s future

The Oregon Zoo’s plans for an off-site elephant center has been deemed too costly by Metro.

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“We simply don’t have the resources to proceed at this point in a responsible manner,” Chief Operating Officer Martha Bennett told Metro Councilors. She said it would require $20 million to $30 million in startup costs, and $2.3 million in annual operating money.

The council heard Bennett’s recommendation along with supporting testimony, including from interim zoo director Teri Dresler. The council is expected to vote on the recommendation at a later meeting. It also is expected to decide later what to do with the $7.1 million that had been targeted for the project, known as the Remote Elephant Center.

That money was part of the of the $125 million zoo bond measure voters passed in 2008. (Of the off-site project money, $5.8 million would be generated by bonds when they are sold; the other$1.3 million from Oregon Zoo Foundation cash.)

(READ MORE: OregonLive.com)

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