New County Vehicle Registration Fee Takes Effect in January. Here’s What It Could Be Funding in the Canby Area.

The long-awaited Highway 99 repaving project will kick off several years’ worth of long overdue maintenance, safety and congestion improvement projects on Canby area roads; however, the jurisdiction and funding sources will be different.

99E is a ODOT road. This means it’s funded by state dollars allocated to highway maintenance and improvement. These later projects are all on county roads, with the bulk of the funding coming from the new vehicle registration fee commissioners passed in February.

The first is a congestion improvement project at Canby-Marquam Road and Lone Elder south of Canby. It was one of the items recommended for funding last week by the Community Road Fund Committee, a working group of county residents tasked with prioritizing county road projects for commissioners to consider.

Recommended for the summer of 2022, this project would add a southbound right turn lane and northbound left turn lane.

The following year, a whole slew of paving projects have been recommended. The county’s paving program is funded through the VRF as well as funding from House Bill 2017.

Summer of 2023 Paving Projects:
Mulino Rd from Haines Rd to Hwy-213
Haines Rd from SE 1st Ave to Hwy-99E
SE 1st Ave from Mulino Rd to Walnut St
Bremer Rd from Haines Rd to Central Point Rd
Blount Rd from Bremer Rd to Township Rd
Adkins Cir from Mulino Rd to Mulino Rd
Fish Rd from Buff Rd to Mulino Rd
Buff Rd from Fish Rd to End
Lilli Ln from Mulino Rd to Landing Ln
Airport Rd from Mulino Rd to Landing Ln
Landing Ln from Mulino Rd to Airport Rd
Central Point Rd from Mulino Rd to Union Hall Rd
Union Hall Rd from Central Point Rd to Eldorado Rd.

A safety project has been greenlighted from the committee that would also center on Canby-Marquam, from the Molalla River bridge to Highway 211. Details on exactly what his entails have not yet been released, but it was one of the items recommended in a recent safety audit.

The committee also recommended further study on a possible congestion relief project at the intersection of 99E and Barlow.

“The committee really wanted to do something with 99E and Barlow, especially since it’s unlikely that enough federal and state funds are in the future for a new Arndt Rd to Berg Pkwy connector road,” said committee member Warren Holzem, an Oregon City resident and also owner of The UPS Store in Canby. “The transportation system plan called for double left turn lanes on Barlow, but that would require a lot of right-of-way, so alternatives, such as single left turn lanes, and better signaling will be explored,” they continued. “That project would also require coordination between Clackamas County, ODOT, and the Union Pacific Railroad.”

Holzem said these projects represent more spending on county roads than the area has seen in a “long, long time.”

“Engineering will start as soon as the money starts coming in, with the Canby-Marquam & Lone Elder intersection likely to be the first congestion project to see a shovel,” he said. “I’m very happy that the Canby area is getting its share of the Community Road Fund from the registration fees at the county level.”

Commissioners are expected to meet to review and consider approval of these recommendations on Nov. 12. By law, 40 percent of the funds from the VRF go toward the cities in Clackamas County (based on population), so Canby will be receiving an $331,281 in additional funds each year to put toward road improvement projects.

The new fee takes effect for renewals and new registrations beginning Jan. 1, 2020. DMV mails renewal reminders about six weeks prior to a vehicle’s renewal date, so some vehicle owners will begin to see the new fee in November.

The fee is based on the vehicle renewal date, not when the fee is paid. So if you were planning to avoid the fee by paying early (and hey, we get it. We were thinking of the same thing) sounds like we’re all out of luck.

The fee is $30 per year for most vehicles such as passenger cars, so the program will add a total of $60 to the typical two-year registration fee.

Custom plates and specialty license plate fees also apply to customers with those options. For motorcycles and mopeds, the county fee will be $15 per year.

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