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Chamber of Commerce may support Bridge

posted Mar 25, 2012, 9:11 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Apr 3, 2012, 9:26 PM ]
Updated following comments from Pat Johnson at the Chamber 
The Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce has made an official statement regarding the bridge.  This is not surprising since the bridge could do so much to benefit the local business community.

The Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce fully recognizes the value of tourism dollars in our community.
Through our Oregon Horse Country initiative we have helped local businesses – both equestrian and others – gain more customers from out of town. We are investigating other niche tourism opportunities, such as wine and bicycle, as a great way to grow our local economy and create jobs.
When it comes to the French Prairie bicycle bridge, the city has not brought the chamber the most recent proposals, cost estimates or environmental feasibility. We are more than willing to support the city in its endeavors to improve the quality of life of Wilsonville, but we can’t take an official position until we know the facts. City officials are more than welcome to present the facts of this bridge and start it through our endorsement process.
“Tourism is an important part of any economic development strategy, bringing outside dollars into our community,” said Steve Gilmore, chamber CEO. “As an organization we have not discussed this project in recent years and the characterization that the chamber is against the project is patently false. We simply do not have the information needed to endorse, or reject, the project.”

The statement then tones down the support by pointing to the potential cost of the project.  "If the costs of the bridge are prohibitive to the project, we would like to work with .. partners [to] find creative ways to promote bicycle tourism"