EPA updates Superfund plan, Legislature may pass on corporate tax alternative and housing crisis eases.
1. EPA releases new Superfund cleanup plan, at additional expense
The Environmental Protection Agency announced its revised cleanup plan Friday, the Portland Business Journal reports. The course of action is expected to take 13 years to complete and cost stakeholders $1.05 billion. The original proposal was for seven years of cleanup at the cost of $746 million. The cost is to be split between the city of Portland, the Port of Portland and more than 100 businesses listed as responsible parties.
2. Economic Analysis Director says Legislature won’t pass corporate tax alternative
Director Mark McMullen says despite the $1.7 million budget shortfall, the Legislature is unlikely to approve a corporate tax increase to raise revenue, the Portland Tribune reports. McMullen cites Gov. Kate Brown’s proposed budget as proof. The proposal relies on spending cuts and multiple smaller tax increases to balance the budget.
3. State economist declares housing crunch may be over
State economist Josh Lehner says a boost in housing units is creating a more stable housing market, Willamette Week reports. Stability doesn’t come with a significant drop in housing cost, however. While the market might soon get a boost in supply, pricing isn’t likely to return to pre-housing boom levels.
4. GMO grass seed could be deregulated, placing the burden of eradication on Oregonians
Scotts Miracle-gro has spent the last decade trying to get rid of its grass seed that has taken root across the state. The biggest problem is in Malheur County, the Oregonian reports. The seed — resistant to Roundup — is difficult to get rid of. Scotts is seeking deregulation by the Department of Agriculture. For the last 14 years, that request has been denied due to environmental concerns. But the department signaled it might grant the deregulation request this week.
5. Oregon receives C- rating for education
Oregon ranks 40th in the nation for education according to a new report from the Education Week Research Center, the Bend Bulletin reports. The national average was a C rating. The ranking measures students’ chances for success, academic achievement and school funding.
6. Mainstream industry sectors, e.g., real estate, continue to make inroads in marijuana market
Eugene will soon benefit from a marijuana growing and processing complex that can host more than 30 vendors, the Register Guard reports. The project is planned by Grow Condos, a publicly traded company based in Eagle Point.
7. Zupan’s closing its Belmont store
The grocer is not renewing its lease at the 3301 S.E. Belmont St. location after more than 20 years at the location, OB Editor Linda Baker broke the story this weekend.
Say it isn’t so? Iconic @zupans Belmont closing. Drove 1st wave of urban redevelopment w/Belmont Dairy. Only grocer to limit space for cars.
— Linda Baker (@lindabak) January 7, 2017
The reason for the closure is still unknown, the Portland Business Journal reports. Dispelling rumours, building owner Doug Obletz says rent isn’t increasing significantly.
8. OB Original Blog: Beating the ski rental obstacle course
New efficiencies speed up the Mt. Hood Meadows equipment rental process.