Plans to build new Kelly Butte water reservoir revealed

Think the only big Portland Water Bureau project is on Powell Butte? Not true! Find out what was revealed about another reservoir project – at the Midway Business Association meeting …

Midway Business Association President Bill Dayton, of Pizza Baron, listens – as members introduce themselves at their monthly meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Outer East Portland’s neighborhood business associations resumed their  monthly meetings in August, including the organization that serves the southern portion of the area – the Midway Business Association.

Businesspeople and guests learned more about volunteer activities – such as the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association’s new “Adopt-a-Drain” program, created to help prevent flooding when the winter storms return.

Tim Hall, from the Portland Water Bureau, talks about the new reservoir being constructed on Powell Butte.

The guest speaker at their September meeting was Tim Hall, who is with the Portland Water Bureau (PWB).

He updated the progress PWB has made over the summer with the massive new Powell Butte Reservoir #2. (We traveled to see it for ourselves – look for that article next week!)

Kelly Butte to get new reservoir
But, what many people don’t know is that PWB is also busy getting ready to create a new water storage facility on Kelly Butte – another effort to update the City’s 100-year-old water system.

Kelly Butte is ideal for a secondary reservoir, Hall said, because its elevation is lower than Powell Butte and higher than Mt. Tabor, the primary area it will serve.

Just where is the Kelly Butte Reservoir? This illustration should help you place it. PWB image

“We’ll be taking the 10 million gallon tank now at Kelly Butte offline, and we’ll be replacing it with a 25 million gallon tank. With the pending disconnection of the uncovered Mt. Tabor reservoirs, we need added capacity.”

Currently, the only access to the Kelly Butte reservoir, Hall said, is through the Church of the Nazarene’s back parking lot on SE Powell Boulevard, just east of the I-205 freeway. “When we build this covered, mostly-underground tank, we’ll have to build a road that goes up to the site. The new reservoir will be in that same general location, but it will have a larger footprint.”

This reservoir at Kelly Butte is said to ending its lifecycle, and will be replaced with one more than twice its size. PWB photo

The cost of removing the current steel water tank, and building the new reinforced concrete reservoir, is estimated at $3.5 million, Hall said.

Design work is now underway for the Kelly Butte project. “We still hope to get the land-use permits before the year is out, and construction should begin next summer,” Hall informed the group. “We expect it to be completed by spring of 2014.”

East Portland’s top cop speaks October 12
Come learn all about this business group dedicated to helping neighbors and businesses improve the southern end of Outer East Portland.

This month, on October 12, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Bill Walker tells how to keep homes and businesses safer from crime.

Visitors ARE welcome, and the presentation is free (but you must pay for your own lunch). Their meeting runs from 11:45 AM until 1 PM at Bill Dayton’s PIZZA BARON Restaurant on SE 122nd Avenue, just south of Division Street.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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