Lake Oswego to Explore Competitive Procurement Method for New Wastewater Treatment Facility

Contact: Katy Kerklaan, Communications Specialist | 503-697-6514

LAKE OSWEGO, OR – On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, the Lake Oswego City Council voted to not proceed with a 30-year project agreement with EPCOR to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain (DBFOM) a new wastewater treatment facility. Instead, Lake Oswego will explore a competitive procurement method using public financing, to complete the design, construct the facility, and operate and maintain the facility under a long-term contract.

After completing the planning and design phase, the City found the proposed cost of the private financing by EPCOR poses significant cost burdens to ratepayers and customers, compared to public financing.

In addition, “issuing a request for proposals to the engineering, construction, and water operations industries for this next phase of the project will result in market-driven, competitive pricing, likely reducing cost,” stated Anthony Hooper, Project Manager and Deputy City Manager for the City of Lake Oswego.

“Being good stewards of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars is prioritized in every decision we make,” said Lake Oswego Mayor Joe Buck. “We believe using public financing and leveraging our Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan will be the best long-term financial option, saving millions of dollars for both communities on this vital project.”

Lake Oswego, with Portland’s support, has been using a phased approach that could replace the aging Tryon Creek plant, with an environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment facility, at a good value to the community. The first phase is now complete, which included developing facility designs, preliminary permitting, and proposed pricing for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Project.

This first phase of the project successfully demonstrated the feasibility of building a new plant away from the riverfront, and enabled the cities to make a fully-informed decision about the costs and benefits associated with the private-public partnership approach to constructing the project. The cities found it would be more cost-effective for the next phase of the project to take place using 100% public financing, as opposed to the public-private partnership DBFOM approach.

The second phase of the project now focuses on a competitive procurement method to finalize project designs, construct, operate and maintain the facility, while meeting the desired affordability goals.

“The City of Portland is committed to partnering with Lake Oswego to replace the aging Tryon Creek plant for environmental and reliability reasons,” said Farshad Allahdadi, Business Services Group Manager, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. “Investing in a new, resilient, state-of-the-art treatment facility remains the financially preferred solution for both cities.”

The project team will provide next step recommendations to the Lake Oswego City Council in the coming months. The cities look forward to continuing with the next phase of the project.

“We thank EPCOR for the work they have done planning and designing the facility. That work gives us a solid launching point for our next phase,” said Anthony Hooper. “Also, a big thank you to our residents and stakeholders for the ongoing valuable input on this crucial infrastructure project.

###

About the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1964 and is owned and operated by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Service. It is strategically located at the confluence of Tryon Creek and the Willamette River in Lake Oswego. The plant treats wastewater collected from parts of southwest Portland, unincorporated areas of Multnomah and Clackamas counties, and the City of Lake Oswego. Treated wastewater is discharged to the Willamette River via an outfall system.

Currently, wastewater treatment operations and maintenance costs are split between Portland and Lake Oswego. On average, Lake Oswego contributes approximately 70 percent of the flow volume. Lake Oswego also pays approximately 70 percent of the cost of operating the plant, in line with its usage. Both cities are exploring a new plant that would be owned by Lake Oswego.

To read the full press release:

To learn more , visit the FAQ page.

Project Update & Council Meeting 1/30

Status of the Project

Lake Oswego, with Portland’s support, has been using a phased project approach to replace the aging Tryon Creek plant with an environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment facility, at a good value to the community.

The first phase of the project is now complete, which included developing facility designs, preliminary permitting, and proposed pricing for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Project.

This first phase successfully demonstrated the feasibility of building a new plant away from the riverfront. It also enabled the cities to make a fully-informed decision about the costs and benefits associated with the private-public partnership approach to constructing the project.

Upcoming Council Meeting 1/30

On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. Lake Oswego City Council will consider the next phase – whether to enter a 30-year agreement with EPCOR to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a new wastewater treatment facility; or to explore other options, such as a competitive procurement method using public financing, to complete the design, construct the facility, and operate and maintain the facility under a long-term contract.

Here is a link to the council report and the agenda. You can view this meeting livestreamed on the City’s YouTube channel.

Website Changes

As we move from phase 1 to phase 2 with the project, our website will be undergoing a transition too. All information, materials, and resources will be archived on our webpage under “Phase 1 Archive.”  Stay tuned for new updates to come.

Project Status and Next Steps

90% Design Plans

We are nearing the end of the first phase of the project with EPCOR Foothills Water Project (EFWP), known as the Preliminary Services Agreement phase. EFWP recently submitted their 90% design plan package to the cities and project team. The team is now undertaking a thorough review and due diligence of the submittal.

Land Use Application Under Review

In tandem with the 90% plans, the team has submitted a land use development review application to the City of Lake Oswego Planning Department. This will be reviewed for completeness, and dates will be set this fall for a public comment period and formal public hearings with the Development Review Committee. We will share those dates and opportunities for public comment once they are set.

Sustainability Advisory Board Meeting

On September 18, the project team will be providing an update to the Sustainability Advisory Board on key sustainability items featured in the project, including solar panels, Energy Trust of Oregon incentives, greenhouse gas emissions study, sustainability-centric framework analysis (Envision Assessment), and the possibility of providing reclaimed water to Foothills Park.

Following the Sustainability Advisory Board meeting, on October 3, the team will be attending the Lake Oswego City Council Meeting to provide an update on sustainability.

Project Agreement

In early 2024, Lake Oswego City Council and the City of Portland will be asked to consider all the information on the project in preparation for a decision on whether to proceed with the project. This will be the final “go/no-go” decision on whether the Council and cities will decide to move forward with the project and enter a project agreement with EFWP for the next stage, which involves finalizing design, constructing the new facility, and operating it for 30 years.

Recent Neighborhood Meeting & Council Meeting 7/18

Neighborhood Meeting

Thank you for your interest in the recent Neighborhood Meeting for the Lake Oswego Wastewater Treatment Facility. A total of 37 people attended the meeting on 6/22/23. We hope you found it informative and we appreciate the feedback and dialog provided during the session. Below are links to the meeting recording and materials.

These materials can also be found on the project website under “Materials and Documents.”

Council Meeting 7/18

On Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 3 p.m., Lake Oswego City Council will consider approving a Resolution to Affirm a Public Necessity, to Acquire Real Property for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Project. This is to update and replace the previously adopted Resolution of Public Necessity (Resolution 22-45, passed in December 2022), which describes the land to be acquired for the new facility and the public interest in acquiring the land.

The updated Resolution of Necessity authorizes the City to move forward with property acquisition and relocation of existing businesses by commencing the eminent domain process needed for building the new facility.

Here is a link to the council report and the agenda. You can view this meeting livestreamed on the City’s YouTube channel.

For more information about property acquisition, please review the FAQs on the project website.

2nd Neighborhood Meeting: June 22

Lake Oswego and Portland, in partnership with EPCOR Foothills Water Project, are proposing to build a new, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility to replace the aging Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The proposed site for the new facility is located at 99, 101 and 113 Foothills Road, respectively.

Prior to applying for a land use application, the project team would like to discuss the proposal in more detail with the recognized neighborhood associations, adjacent neighborhood associations, property owners, residents, and members of the public. 

Join the project team at a virtual neighborhood meeting on June 22 to learn more and share feedback on the proposed development. 

Date: Thursday, June 22, 2023
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual using Zoom: https://bit.ly/LONeighborMeeting2
Meeting ID: 895 1010 6972
Passcode: 722338
Phone in: +1 669-900-9128 US (San Jose) or +1 253-215-8782 US (Tacoma)

To access a narrative of the proposal, preliminary site plans, elevation drawings, and pre-application materials prior to the meeting, please visit www.lakeoswego.city/planning/online-neighborhood-meetings.

Please note, this will be an informational meeting on preliminary development plans. The plans may be altered prior to submittal of the application. 

For more information about the project, or to sign-up for e-news visit www.lakeoswegowastewaterfacility.org

Project Design Update

On April 4 2023, the City extended a contract with EPCOR Foothills Water Project to advance project designs from a 60% level to a 90% level. In late fall 2022, the 60% design concepts were shared through an online open house.

In the coming months, the project team plans to apply for a development review permit application with the City of Lake Oswego. Prior to this, the project team will hold a supplemental neighborhood meeting with the community to discuss the proposal in more detail. This is planned for late June. More details will be shared shortly.