A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

That old tank — it’s still there, unchanged

Written September 23rd, 2023 by Hasso Hering

This photo of 370 Burkhart St. S.E. was taken on Sept. 9, 2023.

Every once in a while, the bike — and curiosity — take my to the 300 block of southeast Burkhart Street in Albany. I want to check if anything has happened on the lot at No. 370.

The lot contains a big tank of reinforced concrete that was part of the Albany water system when the city bought the system from Pacific Power & Light in 1985.

Some time in the 1990s — nobody remembers when — the tank was disconnected from the system. The property has sat there, unused, since that time, and now and then the city would mow the weeds.

Eventually the city council decided to try to sell the property as surplus. But the huge cost of dismantling the concrete reservoir kept buyers away.

In January 2021, though, two men came forward with the idea of building “affordable housing” on the lot, perhaps even incorporating the concrete tank in whatever might be built.

The council voted to sell them the lot for $4,000 in April 2021, and the sale closed in September that year.

The two, as Burkhart Investments LLC, still own the property, according to Linn County records. But as you can see if you go there, nothing has been built.

On Sept. 9, when last I checked, the only thing changed was that the street number on the fence had been vandalized with paint.

The Linn County assessor says the lot has an assessed value of $42,410. In 2022, the property tax was $856, and the owners paid it.

City records show no planning applications or building permits for the site, other than a 2021 permit requested by the city to relocate a power pole.

Chances are I’ll go by there again. Maybe I’ll be surprised to see construction activity one of these years. (hh)

2 responses to “That old tank — it’s still there, unchanged”

  1. Tamra Wiggins-Wahlert says:

    Hey Hasso,

    Another eyesore covering our entire valley is the abandoned paper boxes left behind by the GT/Democrat-Herald. Shouldn’t they be required to collect their equipment, since it no longer serves a purpose? Or is it a pollutant to our environment that will just be allowed to deteriorate in perpetuity?

    Can you find us some answers, please?
    Thank you,

    • Hasso Hering says:

      If memory serves, those boxes or tubes were handed to subscribers without charge, so I presume they now belong to the people who still have them. Maybe you could consider them historical items reminding us all of the old days.


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