Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Port of Portland

Port picks new director, Multnomah County agrees to Wapato sale and Homer Williams returns with new housing plan.

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Curtis Robinhold selected as new Port director

To no one’s surprise, the Port of Portland Commission unanimously voted for deputy Robinhold as the Port’s new executive director. Current director Bill Wyatt is retiring at the end of June. The commission cited his experience in the region as well as his international relations experience as justification for his selection. Commissioners also cited his knowledge of ongoing issues as a benefit, including the Portland Harbor cleanup and ongoing challenges facing Terminal 6.

Multnomah County agrees to $10 million sale of Wapato

The county has moved forward with a deal to sell Wapato Jail to a California developer for $10 million, the Portland Tribune reports. The county originally wanted the developer to disclose the plan for the property, but when the developer declined to do so, the county proceeded with the sale anyway. The unused jail was built for $58 million in 2003 and costs the county $300,000 a year to maintain. 

Developer Homer Williams back with another affordable housing proposal

Williams is proposing to convert industrial land to residential which would allow development of more affordable housing, Willamette Week reports. The plan begins with designating the Broadmoor Golf Course as industrial land, to maintain the city’s 20-year supply. That would allow the city to take other industrial lands and change the zoning. A group of business leaders are already in the process of buying the golf course, Williams says.

Department of Human Services could undergo $595 million budget cut

The agency issued a warning yesterday that if proposed budget cuts are approved, DHS will have to cut services agency-wide, the Statesman Journal reports. The budget only cuts $285 million from the department’s budget, but those cuts mean DHS would lose $310 million in federal funding.

Portland has to build a water treatment facility

Earlier this year, the parasite cryptosporidium was found in the Bull Run water supply. Without an exception to federal water testing rules, the city will be required to treat its water for the parasite, OPB reports. A new water treatment facility could run the city anywhere between $100 million and $385 million.

ZoomCare is expanding

Although the Zoom Health Plan is currently being sued by Oregon insurance regulators for discrepancies in its financial statements, the parent company is growing its Seattle base, the Portland Business Journal reports. Two new ZoomCare clinics open this month and three additional clinics are planned for later this year in the Seattle region.

OB Contributed Blog: Delivering the Goods

Our monthly blog on the financial markets: “With global growth reaccelerating, coupled with a strong and improving U.S. economy, we do not see a recession at least until 2019,” writes Jason Morris, executive vice president of research at Ferguson Wellman Capital Management.