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Mayor says she’ll work to restore funds for River Rd Renaissance improvement program

Of the Keizertimes

Members of the River Road Renaissance (RRR) committee are planning to ask for some $2 million back to fund improvements along the city’s main drag.

First they have to figure out what to do with it.

Money generated by the urban renewal district was taken out of the River Road Renaissance line item and appropriated to pay cost overruns stemming from construction of the Keizer Civic Center along with a land purchase. The total taken from the program reaches just more than $3.5 million

Currently the RRR program has about $1.266 million left.

Mayor Lore Christopher said it was a relief at the time that the city had the money to easily cover the cost overruns, “but at what cost?”

While members of the e Committee lost their quorum mid-meeting Tuesday night, discussion ensued on how best to approach getting their funding back. Restoring the money would depend largely on the district’s sale of land at Keizer Station, said Community Development Director Nate Brown.

“If you start with something and you take it, it needs to come back full power, without any question,” said Dennis Blackman, who is on the RRR committee.

Brown outlined possible upcoming projects, including at Abby’s Legendary Pizza, Dale’s Remodeling and a new office at the southeast corner of River Road and Maine Avenue.

Christopher said she thought she could get enough votes on council if the group would put together a five-year list of possible projects, complete with dollar amount.

“Let us look at that and see how much money is being spent,” Christopher said. “We committed to River Road we would support those businesses on River Road … so they could compete with Keizer Station.”