In July, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) released figures showing that taxpayers currently pay more than $31 thousand per month, on average, for consultants who regularly bill hours related to a possible 3rd Bridge across the Willamette River.
In 2016, taxpayers paid $78,548 per month, on average, in consulting fees.
In 2017 – although the process is waiting for a decision from the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals since a December 2016 Salem City Council vote – (see, LUBA case advances towards decision, Salem Weekly, July 20, 2017) – consultants are still billing, and the public has still paid $189,881 in the last 6 months.
Since 2006, taxpayers have paid $7,925,394 to consultants for the possible project. It appears inevitable that the total will pass $8 million well before the end of the year.
The consultants are companies like CH2M, based in Colorado, engaged by the City of Salem to study the issue.