PORTLAND -- A group of neighbors in southwest Portland is upset after having to use their own money to fix the roads near their homes.

Sue Strater lives near Southwest 34th Street and said potholes made the already narrow road even more dangerous for drivers. So Strater and about 50 of her neighbors paid more than $7,000 to patch and fill the potholes.

Strater said she asked the city to help with the cost, since the Portland Water Bureau owns the land in her neighborhood, but she said the city told her, No.

I will say the city is excellent at answering the phone and they're excellent at responding to my emails but the answer was always no. They didn't take the time to figure out alternatives, to ask me more questions about how they could possibly participate. It was a flat no, Strater said.

KGW reached out to the city for comment. A spokesperson with the Portland Water Bureau said the city cannot pay neighbors directly for a private upgrade because the project must comply with state contractor rules.

A statement from the Water Bureau read:

The Portland Water Bureau owns but rarely accesses two pieces of property on this street. The pump station on one piece of land is out of service and PWB no longer operates it. The second property is used by a cell service provider for a cell tower. As a property owner on this street, PWB would gladly join with other property owners in funding an LID but cannot pay neighbors directly for a private upgrade. The City of Portland must comply with the state contractor rules to ensure that we protect the integrity of our spending. As good neighbors, PWB will evaluate the quality of the street in front of these properties and in the future, make arrangements with the Portland Bureau of Transportation about routine maintenance.

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