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Grant approval bolsters ‘Rhody Rising’ development goals posted on 07/01/2019

Clackamas County’s application to the state for Rhododendron’s Transportation and Growth Management Quick Response Grant was approved for the full $45,000 requested. The grant is the latest success in Rhododendron’s “Rhody Rising” campaign to foster development and revitalization in the community that serves as the gateway to Mount Hood.

The grant money will be utilized to establish guidelines incorporating bike lanes and sidewalks into future development in the community.

“By improving Rhododendron with traffic combing devices, we’ll give drivers clues that this is a community; I’d better slow down,” said Steven Graeper, Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) President.

Graeper added the development plan will have a dual focus on safety and beautification.

“We’ll ultimately make (Rhododendron) more appealing to developers,” he said.

2019-2020 funds for the grant await appropriation by the state legislature and approval from the governor at the beginning of July.

Clackamas County, with the assistance from the “Rhody Rising” committee of the CPO, has begun to develop a draft statement of work to aid in the selection of an engineering consultant to guide the design process once funding is approved.

The grant is managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation with funding from the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).

The proposed development will adhere to guidelines specified by the DLCD and will be presented to the department by July 15. The grant stipulates that a development consultant will be hired by August 12.

“We’re moving forward, it’s just a slow and tedious process,” Graeper stated about the intended development. “It took Government Camp 20 years to come up with a plan for their sidewalks. If we don’t start the process now it’ll never happen.”

Graeper added that the CPO will seek more citizen input once the engineering consultant is hired in August.

The Rhododendron CPO can be contacted by phone at 503-939-5220 or online at https://www.facebook.com/RhodyRising/.

By Benjamin Simpson/MT

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